BURLINGTON, ON, April 16, 2020 /CNW/ - Chicken is the #1 protein choice for Canadian consumers and, while Ontarians have adjusted where and what they eat and how they shop amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario chicken farmers want consumers to know it's 'Chicken as Usual' in terms of the commitment to producing safe, healthy, high quality, Ontario-grown chicken.
"We understand that many comforting behaviours and routines, particularly surrounding food, have changed for Ontarians in recent weeks. One thing that has not changed is the commitment of Ontario's chicken farmers, who remain hard at work to ensure chicken production continues across the province," said Ed Benjamins, a farmer in Wellington County and Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. "The dedication, diligence and hard work by farmers during this truly challenging time is outstanding."
Speaking to production planning during the pandemic, Rob Dougans, President and CEO, Chicken Farmers of Ontario, said, "We're committed to monitoring and proactively responding to this evolving situation, ensuring that the levels of production are appropriate relative to demand. We continue to work closely with our industry stakeholders, along with all levels of government to ensure we're aligned with public policy."
On behalf of its farmer-members, CFO is donating $25,000 to long-time partner, Feed Ontario, to help aid in their Emergency Response program, which looks to provide pre-packaged emergency food boxes to food banks across the province. The donation will enable Feed Ontario to provide 17,500 meals and snacks, in addition to the ongoing donation of Ontario chicken, to 225,000 people.
"Our critical focus right now is making sure individuals who rely on food banks continue to have access to the food they need during this pandemic. This $25,000 donation will go a long way in our efforts to help ensure people have enough food to safely stay home," said Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director of Feed Ontario. "We're extremely grateful to Chicken Farmers of Ontario for their ongoing support."
The CFO Cares: Farmers to Food Banks Program, which provides fresh chicken to food banks across Ontario, has also made some temporary changes to make the program more flexible for food banks, expanding the program to include frozen, prepackaged and further processed Ontario chicken products in order to provide premium Ontario chicken to families and individuals in need.
For more information about CFO, including up to date information as it relates to COVID-19, please visit: ontariochicken.ca
For more about Feed Ontario's Emergency Response program, please visit: feedontario.ca
About Chicken Farmers of Ontario Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) represents more than 1,300 family run farms that collectively ensure Ontario consumers enjoy a reliable supply of safe, healthy, high quality, Ontario-grown chicken. The Ontario chicken industry is an important contributor to the economic health of the province. The industry is supported by an extensive value chain including Ontario chicken farms, Ontario corn and soybean growers, chick hatcheries, and chicken processors that collectively contribute more than $3.8 billion annually to the Ontario economy and support more than 22,000 full-time local jobs.
Chicken Farmers of Ontario provides innovative and entrepreneurial leadership to the supply management system that matches domestic production to domestic consumer demand. The system helps ensure that Canadians have access to a stable supply of high quality locally grown chicken at a fair price.