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What does allocation of growth mean?
The Ontario chicken industry is well positioned to grow over the next few years as a result of both market fundamentals as well as the resolution of a national differential growth solution which will bring additional production to Ontario. This growth in the Ontario chicken industry will not only stimulate broad economic benefits for the province, it will positively contribute to the Government of Ontario’s stated objective of creating an additional 120,000 new jobs in the food and agricultural sector by 2020.

The anticipated growth in both established and emerging chicken markets in Ontario created an opportunity for CFO and the chicken industry to review existing mechanisms for allocating growth, to consult broadly with stakeholders and to explore new ways to administer that growth to both producers and processors.

The results of that review and consultation process are the new programs and policy changes being currently rolled out.
What is the intent of the program changes?
CFO recognized that there were unmet needs in the market that could best be served by smaller or niche product chicken farmers who could take advantage of their smaller scale by developing  innovative new ideas and exploring new specialized market opportunities.

The new programs will help strengthen the supply management system by providing new business opportunities for farmers and processors wishing to grow chicken for these niche and local markets in Ontario. These changes will provide a platform for ongoing economic growth and new job creation in the Ontario chicken industry.
Who was consulted in making the changes?
Chicken Farmers of Ontario conducted an extensive and transparent consultation process which generated input from a variety of stakeholders across the province. More than 600 stakeholders including farmers, processors, government, industry and the public attended the consultation meetings in person while many others submitted comments through online and other channels. Summary transcripts from the consultation process are available on the CFO website at ontariochicken.ca.
What is the Local Niche Markets Program?
The Local Niche Markets Program is intended to support those targeted niche markets in Ontario which are looking for new ways to access larger volumes of locally grown chicken.The new application and quota-based Program will allow chicken farmers to grow between 6,000 and 60,000 chickens annually targeted at a well defined discrete and distinct local market through various means including geographic identification, marketing channels, products, brands and/or business approaches. Farmers entering this program will be required to acquire between 1,000 and 10,000 units of production quota.

Prospective applicants who want to grow chicken in 2016 are required to arrange for the quota transfer and submit the application form with the Quota Transfer Application to CFO. All commercial chicken farmers and quota holders are required to comply with the Policies and Regulations of CFO including the On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program (OFFSAP), the Animal Care Program (ACP), and the Farm Worker Safety Program. Applications can be submitted prior to each quota transfer deadline.
Will the farmers accepted into the Local Niche Markets Program be required to follow the same stringent CFO On-Farm Food Safety and Animal Care Program rules as current commercial farmers?
Yes. The On-Farm Food Safety and Animal Care Programs are crucial in ensuring that biosecurity standards are managed uniformly across the province. In addition all CFO certified farmers - including those accepted into the new growth programs - are required to meet all disease reporting and all provincial and government requirements.
How many farmers will be accepted into the new programs?
There is no set number of farmers who will accepted into the new programs but applications will be considered until the allocation available in any year is reached.
How does a farmer apply to Local Niche Markets Programs?
The Local Niche Markets Online Application can be accessed by clicking here. Applications for the Local Niche Markets Program can be made for the normal quota transfer deadlines.
Do the new programs affect CFO’s New Entrant Chicken Farmer Program?
No, in fact CFO in an effort to attract as many qualified potential new chicken farmers as possible has expanded the highly successful program from two New Entrants annually to five New Entrants. Details of the program are available by clicking here.
Is chicken grown within these new programs counted against Ontario’s national allocation?
Yes. The chicken grown under these two new programs is counted against Ontario’s national allocation as set out by Chicken Farmers of Canada. Chicken grown under the Family Food Program is not part of the national allocation system as it is not considered commercial product. 
How many farmer programs does CFO offer?
Six, Family Food Grower (formerly Small Flock Grower),  the Artisanal Chicken Program, the Specialty Breeds Chicken Program, the Local Niche Markets Program, New Entrant Chicken Farmer Program (expanded from 2 per annum to 5), and the CFO Farmer-Member Program (regular quota holders).

In addition, CFO operates several programs for chicken processors including a New Entrant Processor Program.

CFO Farmer Programs

Family Food Grower


Specialty Breeds Farmer

Local Niche Markets Farmer

New Entrant Farmer


Expected Markets Served

Home consumption/ farm gate Local, small, seasonal Specialty breeds,
ethnic markets
Distinct, specific, segments in local markets Conventional chicken, mainstream market Conventional chicken, mainstream

Farmer   Size

Approx. number of  birds grown annually Up to 300 600 - 3,000 20,000 plus 6,000 – 60,000 82,000 plus 82,000 plus
Minimum number of quota units required Non quota holder Non quota holder Non quota holder Quota Holder 1,000 – 10,000 units Quota holder 14,000 units Quota holder 14,000 units