Canada’s turkey processing sector includes primary processors that are responsible for products like whole and cut turkey, as well as companies which process raw turkey meat for use as an ingredient in prepared and packaged foods sold in retail, restaurants and institutional food services.
CPEP represents Canada’s turkey processing sector. Our 10 member companies operate 14 primary turkey processing plants across the country. Annually, these companies process 98% of all turkey processed in Canada. Our member companies operate multiple further processing plants and are responsible for more than 85% of Canadian further processed turkey production.
Today, turkey primary processors directly employ more than 2,600 workers in facilities across the country with sales over $900 million.
Canadians’ expectations have changed in recent years, especially with regard to how turkeys are raised and processed. CPEP and our members are dedicated to continuously reviewing and evolving practices to implement best in class standards on food safety and animal welfare.
Evolving consumer demand creates a dynamic industry
While the turkey market has traditionally relied on holiday sales of whole birds, it has evolved in recent decades.
About 170 million kilograms of turkey are processed in Canada each year (eviscerated weight).
More than half of the turkey sold in Canada today is sold through retail, restaurants and foodservice outlets as cut up and further processed products. Turkey has gone from the centre of the holiday table to the star of everyday lunch boxes and dinner plates.
CPEP works for Canada’s turkey primary processors
Canada’s turkey production is supply-managed. This means that the amount of turkey 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 Turkey 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:
- Collaborating with the Turkey Farmers of Canada to market and increase turkey consumption;
- Advocating for turkey primary processors interests in decisions made by the Turkey Farmers of Canada on allocation;
- Representing the interests of turkey primary processors at the Turkey 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 turkey processing sector?
Check out our primary turkey sector members or contact our Turkey Primary Processing Sector Director, Nicolas Paillat at email@example.com.