The Ontario chicken industry is one of the most successful supply managed industries in the country. From the hatcheries to the chicken farms to the feed mills and grain growers, from transporters to primary and further processing, the chicken industry supply chain is an important contributor to the economic health and growth of Ontario.
Ontario boasts the largest chicken farming, processor and consumer base in Canada, with more than 200 million chickens grown every year by more than 1,200 independent, successful chicken farms and processed at 16 primary processing facilities, and more than 20 custom processing operations.
Most of Ontario’s chicken production is concentrated in a band just west of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that stretches from Lake Erie to the Bruce Peninsula; however, the benefits of chicken farming and processing stretch across the province.
Chicken farmers shipped at least $757 million of chicken (farmgate value) to primary processors in 2015, which generated $1.78 billion in economic activity throughout the province. This level of economic activity supported over 9,600 full-time equivalent jobs, generated $831 million in province wide Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and provided tax revenues of about $250 million to all three levels of government.
A significant part of the Ontario chicken supply chain is the chicken processing industry. As with chicken farming, the economic impact of processing Ontario-grown chicken goes well beyond the agriculture and food processing sectors. The economic activity generated throughout the province is primarily due to the expenditures made by chicken processors and chicken farmers. Every dollar of chicken sales by Ontario chicken farmers and primary processors generates $2.41 of economic activity throughout Ontario. The total amount of economic activity generated across Ontario chicken industry supply chain from the hatcheries to the farmers through to the primary processing is at least $3.25 billion each year. This level of economic activity sustains almost 20,000 full time jobs with a payroll of $1.1 billion.
The value created by processing Ontario grown chicken equates to $1.7 billion in province-wide GDP. Tax revenues of $500 million were generated for the federal, provincial and local governments due to chicken farming and primary processing of Ontario chicken.
*Based on the 2016 Growing Ontario Together: A Study of the Economic Contribution of the Ontario Chicken Industry
Ontario chicken farmers spent $345 million on feed in 2015, accounting for nearly a quarter of the sales volume of the province’s feed manufacturers. Supplying this feed accounted for 10% of all soybeans crushed in Ontario, and required 11,000 truckloads of corn to be delivered to the feed manufacturers—that’s 42 trucks on each workday of the year. When DDGS (a by-product of corn-based ethanol) are considered, nine percent (9%) of the Ontario corn crop is utilized by Ontario grown chicken. Chicken farmers and processors also support hatcheries, energy suppliers, general equipment suppliers, and labour.