Fresh Ideas, Growing Together

Talking Chicken with MPPs – Virtually!

CFO host their annual Chicken Day to connect with MPPs from across Ontario.

TORONTO, ON – November 4, 2021 – Representatives from Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) hosted Virtual Chicken Day at Queen’s Park – an annual event that brings chicken farmers and Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) together to talk about the chicken industry.

The two-day event started off with video remarks from Premier Doug Ford and followed with a meeting with Minister Lisa Thompson, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CFO hosted all meetings virtually. Meetings included an introduction video from Ed Benjamins, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario, and Denise Hockaday, CEO of Chicken Farmers of Ontario, and a Virtual Photo Booth.


In total, chicken farmers had 26 meetings with Ministers and MPPs, to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on Ontario chicken farming families, CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks program, shared priorities around farm security, expanding rural broadband access, and innovations and sustainability in chicken farming.

“Thank you to the elected officials that met with the CFO team this week to discuss how we can work together to support Ontario chicken farmers and ensure that consumers can continue to count on a steady supply of locally-grown chicken,” said Ed Benjamins, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, chicken farmers have been hard at work and demonstrated resilience by keeping things ‘Chicken As Usual’.”

CFO Board and DCRs reiterated to Ministers and MPPs that under the responsible supply management system, chicken farmers continue to keep it ‘Chicken As Usual’ throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Ontarians have adjusted what they eat and how they shop due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario chicken farmers want MPPs and consumers to know that while it may not be business as usual, it's still ‘Chicken As Usual’ in terms of the commitment to producing safe, healthy, locally-grown chicken for Ontario families and food banks.

In 2015, CFO launched the CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks, a hunger relief program designed to assist Ontario chicken farmers in donating chicken to food banks in their communities. This year alone, over 550 chicken farmers have donated over 1.4 million chicken meals through the program.

“These meetings are a great opportunity to discuss our shared priorities with MPPs and provide an update on how chicken farmers are continuing to advance sustainable, high-quality agriculture,” said Denise Hockaday, CEO of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “Chicken is the number one protein choice for Canadians, and through the responsible supply management system, Ontario consumers enjoy a reliable supply of safe, healthy, locally-grown chicken.”
CFO represents 1,300 family-run farms, in over 330 communities across the province. Ontario’s chicken farmers are an integral part of the value chain, that supports 22,000 jobs and contributes over $3.7 billion in economic activity each year.
Media Inquiries:
Kathryn Goodish
Senior Director, Communications & Stakeholder Relations