Canadian Poultry Magazine

CFO AGM celebrates Ontario chicken industry resiliency

By Canadian Poultry magazine   

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After many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2022 Avian Influenza outbreak, Chicken Farmers of Ontario’s (CFO) 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM), held on March 6th, marked the first in-person AGM since 2019. The CFO AGM was also broadcasted online and brought together over 400 farmers and stakeholders from across the province, as well as provincial farmer Boards and industry representation from across the country.

“We were so pleased to share this event with farmers and industry. The last few years have been a challenge for our entire sector. The AGM was a chance to reflect on all the difficulties our sector has overcome by working together and through innovation – and we were certainly celebrating the future!” said Murray Opsteen, Chair, Chicken Farmers of Ontario.

The 2023 CFO AGM featured several speakers and highlights:

  • CFO was pleased the Hon. Lisa Thompson, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs joined the CFO Board, District Committee Representatives, and farmers for breakfast. Minister Thompson shared elements of the Grow Ontario Strategy, the Government of Ontario’s plans and support for further innovation in the sector, and thanked farmers and industry for vigilance and collaboration throughout the recent Avian Influenza outbreaks
  • Chair Murray Opsteen, and CEO Denise Hockaday, released the Board’s CFO 2023-2025 Strategic Plan, which details a strong commitment towards four pillars of success: Profitability; Stakeholder Relations; Responsible, Sustainable Production; and Risk Management
  • Release of the 2022 Annual Performance Report, which features many CFO farming families, District Committee Representatives, industry partners, Board Committee work, Audited Financials, and more
  • Guest speakers Dr. Mike Von Massow, Associate Professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics at the University of Guelph and the Ontario Agricultural College Chair in Food Systems Leadership & Crystal Mackay, CEO of Loft 32, a proven leader in connecting consumers, farmers and food system partners. Together, Crystal and Mike provided insightful remarks on the 3Cs to success – Connecting, Canadians, and Chicken!
  • A national update from Chicken Farmers of Canada, featuring Tim Klompmaker, Chair and Michael Laliberté, Executive Director
  • Introduction of the 2022 New Entrant Chicken Farmer Program successful applicant farming families
  • Through the CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks program, a donation was made to Feed Ontario – as part of the Ontario chicken farmers’ on-going efforts to alleviate hunger and provide fresh chicken to communities across Ontario
  • Remarks from Farm Products Council of Canada, in celebration of the 50th Anniversary
  • Remarks from the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission, and
  • Remarks on behalf of the Ontario processing sector brought by the Association of Ontario Chicken Processors

“The Annual General Meeting was an excellent opportunity to bring farmers and stakeholders together, both in-person and virtually, to network and reflect on our shared priorities and resiliency. As we look ahead, we were delighted to release the CFO 2023-2025 Strategic Plan, which provides a focus for our priorities and supports our vision of leading a trusted, prosperous, and sustainable chicken industry,” said Denise Hockaday, CEO, Chicken Farmers of Ontario.

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