With so many ways to get information these days, it can be hard to know the truth about the journey our food takes before it gets to our plates. Consumers often rely on restaurants as a trusted source of information about the food they’re eating, and with less than half of Canadians knowing where their food comes from, it’s crucial that restaurants know – and deliver – that information.
Chicken Farmers of Canada is proud of our country’s animal care standards and sustainability practices, ensuring that chicken farmers produce the right amount of fresh, safe, high-quality products to meet Canada’s needs.
Here are just some of the facts that restaurants, chefs, and consumers need to know about Canadian chicken:
- Chicken Farmers of Canada’s Animal Care Program maintains strict standards for the care and handling of chickens. This program is mandatory, third-party-audited, and enforced across all Canadian chicken farms to ensure compliance and consistency.
- The Animal Care Program is based on a code of practice developed through the National Farm Animal Care Council and includes input from stakeholders representing government, farmers, animal welfare advocates, food processors, transporters, veterinarians, researchers, restaurants, and retailers.
- ‘Factory farms’ do not exist in this country, even though misinformation to the contrary is often touted on the internet and by activists. In fact, more than 90 per cent of Canadian chicken farms are family-owned and -operated.
- Chicken farming is the livelihood of over 2,800 Canadian farmers, and they are paid for each bird that is processed. Along with the pride that comes with farming chickens, it makes good economic sense for farmers to take care of their birds.
- Farming conditions are diligently maintained; litter is monitored daily, and barns are cleaned out after every flock to promote cleanliness and health.
- Chickens are treated respectfully. Light intensity and duration are carefully managed for proper periods of rest and to promote flock health.
- Despite activist claims, chickens are not being over-farmed; the density of Canadian production is lower than or consistent with many other countries.
- Hormones or steroids have not been used in Canadian chicken production for over 50 years. These practices have been illegal in Canada since the 1960s.
- As the cost of food continues to rise, cutting back on expenses is becoming more and more necessary in Canadian households. Chicken is the lowest-cost Canadian meat, providing a healthy, reliable, and affordable source of lean protein.
- Sustainability matters. Consumers want to know that farmers are responsibly raising chickens – and farmers deliver. The Canadian chicken sector has lowered its carbon footprint by almost 40 per cent in the past 40 years, proving farmers’ commitment to sustainability is part of their business.
Knowing how food gets to the table is an important part of how consumers make decisions for their health and their families. Separating fact from fiction, telling the Canadian chicken story, and knowing the truth about our farmers helps restaurants deliver on customer expectations.
Chicken Farmers of Canada is a useful resource and partner for restaurants and chefs to get accurate information, help to deliver the facts, support our farmers, and be confident that they are providing the best chicken that Canada offers.
To learn more about Chicken Farmers of Canada and how they can help, visit this link.