Chicken Farmers of Ontario approves new kosher chicken processing plant
By Kristy Nudds
March 17, 2016 – For the first time since 2013, Ontario’s kosher consumers will have the opportunity to once again purchase fresh, locally grown, locally processed kosher chicken for their tables.
Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO), the regulatory body that oversees the growing and marketing of chicken in Ontario, has approved the application of Premier Kosher Inc., to process kosher certified chicken. Premier Kosher Inc. is a unit of the Premier Group of Companies, an integrated poultry growing, transporting and food processing firm. The processing plant will be located in the town of Abingdon in the Niagara region of Ontario.
“We are extremely pleased that Ontario consumers will now have a local option for their kosher chicken purchasing needs,” said Henry Zantingh, Chair of CFO. “The decision to accept the application of Premier Kosher Inc. is the culmination of tremendous effort on the part of both farmers and industry to find a suitable business partner to own and operate an Ontario kosher chicken processing plant.”
“The Ontario chicken industry understands the importance of addressing the needs of all consumers in Ontario,” said Michael Burrows, Chair of the Association of Ontario Chicken Processors (AOCP). “We are pleased that Premier Kosher Inc. will be in a position to support the ongoing need of kosher consumers to have a locally grown and processed source of chicken.”
“This is an exciting opportunity and we look forward to working with the community to ensure that Premier Kosher becomes a trusted and preferred choice for kosher chicken,” said Paul Tzellos, President of Premier Kosher Inc.
The Kashruth Council of Canada (COR) will be working with the Premier Kosher processing plant to provide the kosher certification.
“Ontario’s Jewish community has been looking forward to welcoming the arrival of a new kosher processing plant for several years to provide local Ontario-grown, fresh, kosher chicken,” said Richard Rabkin, Executive Director of COR. “COR is pleased to be working with Premier Kosher Inc. to ensure that kosher consumers have a range of products in the marketplace to choose from.”
Chicken Farmers of Ontario will be working with Chicken Farmers of Canada for an allocation of additional supply to serve the kosher community.
“This has been a long process and this announcement is yet another signal that CFO and the chicken industry of Ontario are open for business and working to meet the needs of all core, niche and specialty chicken markets in Ontario,” said Rob Dougans, President and CEO of CFO.
Premier Kosher Inc. is also being advised by Chuck Weinberg, former owner of Chai Poultry, the last processor to provide locally processed kosher chicken in Ontario. The Premier Kosher plant is expected to be operational by January 2017 and will have an initial capacity of 50,000 chickens each week. It is expected to employ up to 80 employees.