Chicken Farmer’s in Ontario get a break- finally!?
First step in food freedom for consumers
So I’m sitting on facebook and I get a message from a farmer friend of mine. This guy is a huge advocate for farmers. I’ve often said if there is a way farmers could get on the same page there is SO much they could accomplish. I also think that if there is a guy to do it, this guy might be it!
Chicken enjoys a very regulated and supply managed system in Canada. An insurance agent friend of mine said that if he could come back in life again he would come back as a chicken farmer or a dairy farmer, he said “they are the only happy farmers”.
There is a reason for that, chicken farmers can buy quota and produce masses of chickens and have a guaranteed market for it. There are some things that are not too helpful about this system from a health side of things - read about Chickens and getting them locally in Ontario here
Or read about Heritage Chicken here - why you'd choose it
Or read about the supply management system and some of it's downfalls here
There has a rule that only permitted farmers who didn’t have quota to raise 300 chickens (with the intention of that law, that it was for family use only). This was terrible for farmers, it didn’t make any money, the start up costs were too high to make any real money or even JUSTIFY the start up costs required to produce 300 chickens. Not to mention not being able to get to the mass production required to justify the quota cost.
Recently there has been quite a push from some grass roots communities and organizations to increase the quota to allow farmer’s to produce more than 300. This would farmers to make some decent money raising chickens on pasture, raising them on non GMO feed, raising them in ways that are basically anything but the typical long barn, hot, stuffy, quick to market, high energy, fast conversion way’s they are currently raised. Sean has been working at this for 10 years. Recently the organization he founded - Practical Farmer’s of Ontario put on a Joel Salatin event in Guelph. (get Video’s here) to raise awareness and funding to increase the pressure around this issue.
Chicken farmer’s are now permitted to raise 3000 chickens without quota (for meat. as opposed the previously regulated 300.
Raising only 300 chickens limited the amount of free range chicken because it simply wasn’t viable in Ontario. This opens the gate for more farmers to make a proper living on raising healthy sustainably raised poultry that the consumers are demanding.
This has been a huge effort headed by Sean McGivern, a huge voice for young farmers and ecologically responsible farmers.
“CFO said they decided to personal call me cause I've been the only [one] to work on this steady for 10 years”- Sean. McGivern
And rightly so Sean, from all of us as farmers and all of us as consumers. Also thanks for everyone else who jumped on board to give the push some momentum. Things like this don’t happen overnight, and they often don’t happen at ALL because people lose faith and energy. Today is a day for celebration. I think this is just the beginning. People are asking for what they want and this is a great day for food freedom!
“I am just stubborn that's why I kept pushing it a normal person would have given up”
Well Sean, I’m personally very grateful that you are stubborn today.
For the press release officially put out by Chicken Farmer’s of Ontario you can go here
some pasture raised laying hens in their palace of a "chicken tractor" (above)