Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) has granted conditional license approval to more than 80 local farmers from around the province to join the Artisanal Chicken program and has now reopened the process to new applicants for 2016. The application-based program is the first of its kind in Canada. It was launched in June 2015 with the expressed goal of helping to address gaps in the existing consumer marketplace for locally-grown chicken.
CFO has been reviewing applicants who applied prior to the previous September 2015 deadline, but has now re-opened the application process for additional applications for the 2016 year. Applicants are advised to visit CFO's Artisanal Chicken program website for information on the application process.
“We continue to look for ways to profitably meet the needs of our markets in Ontario and to foster responsible farming,” said Henry Zantingh, chair of CFO. “Our stakeholder consultations told us that there were many farmers who had identified unfilled consumer markets which were distinct from the traditional markets and distribution mechanisms for chicken. Those farmers who have been accepted into the Artisanal Chicken program will now be in a position to service those markets.”
“We are extremely pleased to be able to reopen the Artisanal Chicken application process for 2016,” said Rob Dougans, president and CEO of CFO. “The enthusiasm with which farmers and consumer groups greeted this and other new CFO programs demonstrates that the Ontario chicken industry still has considerable room for innovation and growth.”
The Artisanal Chicken program is designed for smaller scale, non-quota holding farmers who wish to grow between 600 and 3,000 chickens each year for select identified markets. Prior to the development of this program, smaller scale farmers in Ontario who chose not to purchase quota were limited to growing up to 300 chickens per year for home consumption or farm-gate sales under the Family Food program.