Challenging Poultry Quota Systems: Improving Livelihood and Choice in the North


There are many benefits from raising chicken in Northern Ontario and there is a growing interest in knowing the local farmer who raised it. Chicken can provide food for a farmers’ family and friends, and can potentially be a good source of income. More local chicken would also provide more choice in Northern Ontario, which has a limited market for fresh food.

Currently, chicken is under a supply management system in Ontario where production is monitored and controlled through a quota system where farmers pay for the right to produce by the Chicken Marketing Board. Supply management ensures that supply meets demand and that a farmer gets a good price for their birds. It keeps market prices in check from being too volatile from overproduction or a lack of competition.

chick 3The unfortunate reality is that the cost of getting quota is out of reach for the average farmer, which requires a minimum of selling 90,000 birds a year that can result in start-up costs of over $1.75 million dollars.

Story and Photos by David Thompson

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