(POSTED: April 27, 2007)
Canada`s Poultry Industry
Canada’s poultry industry is diverse, efficient and competitive. While chicken and turkey meat dominate the sector, the industry is also comprised of less traditional bird production. For example, ostriches, emus and rheas are raised for their red-coloured meat, their hide and feathers and their oils (used in the cosmetics industry).
Ducks, geese and game birds such as pheasant, partridge, guinea fowl, quail and squab are also raised commercially in Canada. This sector is well established and growing, and exports of these birds are small but consistent. Canada exports a wide range of poultry and poultry products to more than 86 countries, as per Statistics Canada’s data.
Canada can also provide halal-certified, kosher and a wide range of organic meat and poultry products. In addition to the almost 5,000 commercial poultry and egg producers in Canada, there are a large number of businesses associated with these production activities: 121 hatcheries, 140 feed manufacturers, 116 feed supplement suppliers and 42 drug suppliers.
Poultry production and processing are among the most highly mechanized sectors in agriculture. One person can operate a unit of 50,000 broiler chickens, which, with seven lots per year, will provide 640 tonnes of meat annually. Poultry processing plants in Canada are effectively mechanized, which allows them to slaughter and prepare 25,000 broiler chickens for market per hour.
Getting the bird from the producer to the grocery store requires coordination and cooperation among producers, provincial and federal governments, inspectors, processors and distributors. A well-organized supply management system helps in this regard. Three poultry producers’ organizations – the Chicken Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency, and the Canadian Broiler Egg Marketing Agency – enable producers to receive their cost of production plus a reasonable rate of return on their investment while ensuring that consumers have a constant supply at stable prices.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is working to protect public security through the prevention of avian influenza and other diseases. CFIA is enhancing its control measures on imports of live birds to prevent the importation of avian influenza to Canada. Furthermore, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point programs are in place from production to consumption stages to ensure safe food production.
In 2004, according to the poultry marketing agencies, there were 2,787 regulated chicken producers and approximately 538 registered turkey producers in Canada. They produced poultry products worth $1.9 billion, contributing 5 per cent of cash receipts to farming operations. Canada’s commercial chicken and turkey meat production totalled 1,115,000 tonnes, and the country produced 970,000 tonnes of chicken, more than 65% of which was produced in Quebec and Ontario.
According to Statistics Canada, Canada exported over 19 million live birds worth $41.9 million in 2005. These birds consisted of chicks, domestic fowl, turkeys, poults (young turkeys), ducks, geese and guinea fowl and were exported to 26 countries, including the United States, Ghana, Turkey and Poland.
Canada also exported 116 million kilograms of poultry meat and edible by-products (fresh,
chilled, frozen) worth more than $163 million to 78 countries, including the United States,
South Africa, the Philippines, Russia and Hong Kong.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Chicken Farmers of Canada
Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency
Canadian Broiler Hatching Egg Marketing Agency