Fresh Ideas, Growing Together

Ontario Broiler Chicken Industry United in Emergency Response to COVID-19

BURLINGTON, ON – April 12, 2021 – The COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to pose significant challenges to the orderly marketing of chicken and normal operations for the Ontario chicken supply chain.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of Ontario chicken farmers, their families and the animals in their care remain a top priority. 

Over this past year, Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) has been working closely with the Association of Ontario Chicken Processors (AOCP) and other industry stakeholders to mitigate risks posed by the pandemic and follow recommendations from government and local health authorities to ensure that the Ontario chicken industry remains reliable and strong.

The pandemic continues to impact the availability of labour in many sectors, and Ontario chicken processors are no exception. Some Ontario processors continue to experience increased labour absentee rates – which is adversely impacting processing capability. 

To mitigate risks to farmer-members and industry in periods of potential extended plant shutdown or substantial impairment of chicken processing capability, the CFO Board of Directors, in collaboration with AOCP and other industry stakeholders, has implemented a new COVID-19 Emergency Euthanasia Policy and accompanying COVID-19 Emergency Euthanasia Fund Regulation. 

“This is a measure of last resort and will never be an immediate response,” said Ed Benjamins, Chair, Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “The entire industry is committed to working tirelessly to avoid this measure when possible.”

“We commend our farmer-members for their continued dedication and diligence during the ongoing pandemic,” said Mike Nailor, Interim CEO, Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “That is why we developed a plan that will provide farmer-members with support in the event that birds cannot be processed as a result of COVID-19 and all other contingency planning options have been exhausted.”

CFO is committed to supplying Ontario with locally grown and processed chicken. 

Ontario’s chicken farmers continue to work hard every day to raise chickens while following the highest levels of on-farm food safety, animal care and biosecurity. 

For more information, contact covid19@ontariochicken.ca.