April 2, 2012 – Chicken Farmers of Ontario is helping potential new farmers enter the chicken industry. While the chicken industry is fortunate to welcome many new families annually to this sector, these farmers tend to have farming backgrounds in other supply management sectors or bring farming experience to Ontario that was gained in other countries. In order to welcome other Canadian citizens to the industry, Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) has introduced a new program designed help lower the cost to entry for new farmers by spreading the capital costs of acquiring basic quota over fifteen years.
CFO’s New Chicken Farmers Entrant Program was introduced at the 2012 CFO Annual General Meeting.
“The new entrant program will help broaden the opportunity for potential farmers entering the chicken farming business in Ontario,” said Henry Zantingh, incoming Chair of the CFO. “The Board looks forward to helping those potential farmers who wish to make a long term commitment to our industry and, when taking the program support into account, ensure they are in a strong position to implement their business plan.”
Currently in Ontario, farmers are required to hold a minimum of 14,000 units of quota and must meet a number of policies and regulations before they are granted a licence to produce chicken. These requirements will not change under the new CFO program. What does change is that new farmers who are accepted into this special program will be required to acquire at least 4,000 units of quota while being allotted up to 10,000 “New Entrant Quota” by CFO to meet their minimum holding requirement.
The allotted quota must then be replaced with acquired quota over the next fifteen years on a prescribed schedule as the new farmer builds the necessary resources to make the transition.
For example, under the program, 30% of the quota allotted will be cancelled by year 5, another 30% in year 10 and the final 40% in year 15, with the participant in the new entrant program being required to acquire the equivalent quota units being cancelled. Up to 20,000 units of quota will be made available to the program each year.
While the New Chicken Farmers Entrant Program will help launch new chicken farms in Ontario, the program is not designed for everyone. In order to meet the policy goals of the program, in addition to having a strong business plan, priority will be given those who have not previously been associated with any supply management sector. All applications to the program will be reviewed by an industry panel of experts who will then recommend candidate finalists to the CFO Board.