Canada’s chicken processors are responsible for creating the whole and cut chicken products that are the protein of choice for many Canadians.
CPEP’s 15 chicken primary processor members operate 34 primary processing plants in nine provinces. These companies transform 95% of all chicken processed in Canada, which equals more than 1.3 billion kilograms of chicken meat each year (eviscerated weight).
Chicken Primary processors directly employ over 13,000 Canadians across the country and with sales over $5 billion.
The Canadian chicken processing industry is dynamic, as are the expectations of Canadians. CPEP and its members are dedicated to continuously reviewing and evolving practices to implement best in class standards on food safety and animal welfare.
Chicken is Canada’s favourite protein
With competitive prices and high nutritional value, chicken is a protein in high demand.
In the last 50 years, per capita consumption of chicken meat has doubled. Even in a market where Canadians are eating less meat on average, chicken sales continue to increase. Canadians ate more than 35 kg of chicken on average last year.
Over 90% of chicken meat purchased by CPEP’s members for Canadian markets is sourced from Canadian chicken farmers.
Canadians’ preference for specific cuts of meat, especially chicken breasts and wings, means that imports are needed to adequately meet market demand. To supplement domestic production, additional breast and wing meat is imported to Canada from trading partners via tariff-rate quota (TRQ).
As breasts and wings make up only half of a whole bird, Canada’s chicken processors have worked to develop export markets. Export programs allow the chicken processing sector to export surplus chicken legs and drums.
Our work on behalf of Canada’s primary chicken processors
Canada’s chicken production is supply-managed. This means that the amount of chicken raised and processed each year and the price paid to farmers by processors is strictly managed. CPEP plays an active role in this process.
CPEP works closely with the Chicken Farmers of Canada to develop standards that meet the needs of Canadian consumers and provide the industry with the flexibility it needs to meet evolving market demands. Our work includes:
- Representing the interests of chicken primary processors at the Chicken Farmers of Canada Board of Directors table
- Addressing issues of importance to the broader poultry and egg sector, such as animal welfare, antimicrobial use and resistance, food safety and labour shortages
Want to know more about the Canadian primary chicken processing sector?
Take a look at our primary chicken processing sector members or contact Nicolas Paillat, Chicken and Turkey Primary Processing Sector Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.