Ontario’s Artisanal Chicken program marks year of successful growth

Workshop event held for participating farmers

BURLINGTON, ON – November 9, 2016 – Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) this week welcomed over 50 farmers who are part of the Board’s new Artisanal Chicken Program to CFO’s inaugural Community Program Workshop. The event was designed as a community building opportunity for the artisanal farmers while also providing them with valuable technical and peer-to-peer input on the sustainable growing of safe, healthy, high quality, locally grown chicken.
The Artisanal Chicken Program was launched by CFO in 2015 to support small, independent, family-farmers looking to meet the growing consumer demand for locally grown, seasonally marketed chicken. It permits non-quota farmers to raise between 600 and 3000 chickens for select markets. CFO approved over 100 new farmers for entry to the program in its first year.

“We are extremely pleased with how effective this program has been in both attracting a large number of very engaged and innovative new farmers to the chicken sector while also addressing the emerging consumer demand for artisanal chicken," said Henry Zantingh, Chair of CFO. “CFO looks forward to continue working with farmers across Ontario  to build this market even further in coming years."

“The Artisanal Chicken Program was successful right from the start because of the passion and dedication of the farmers themselves,” said Rob Dougans, President and CEO of CFO. “Artisanal Chicken farmers have demonstrated tremendous ingenuity and entrepreneurship in finding and building new markets across the province and we look forward to sharing their stories as the program evolves.” 

The CFO Artisanal Chicken Community Workshop for farmers was held in Mississauga on November 7 and included sessions on best management production practices for poultry health and welfare, farm business management tools for success, consumer perceptions of the local food movement, strategies for direct on-farm sales, and future branding and marketing opportunities to help raise awareness and grow the program. The workshop featured industry experts from across the value chain and CFO was pleased to partner with the Ontario Independent Meat Processors Association, Agri-food Management Institute, Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association, Foodland Ontario and poultry veterinarians to help deliver the programming to the farmers.

CFO is actively recruiting new Artisanal Chicken farmers who wish to serve their local markets. For more information on the Artisanal Chicken Program, and for information on the application process, please visit artisanalchicken.ca.

Meet the Artisanal Chicken Farmers – CLICK HERE to watch the Artisanal Chicken Program video on CFO’s YouTube Channel.

Media Inquiries:

Michael Edmonds
Director, Communications and Public Affairs 

Email Michael 
P: 289.288.4223