Poultry marketing receives federal funding

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Glacier FarmMedia – Canada’s chicken and turkey sectors are getting $3.5 million in federal funding in the first year of a 10-year program to step up marketing and drive domestic consumption.

Francis Drouin, parliamentary secretary to agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced the new market development program late last month.

Why it matters: The Canadian poultry sector lost market share in the CPTPP agreement and this funding is part of a longer-term ‘make-good’ federal program to recover losses. 

Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) will get $1 million and Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) will get $2.5 million. Overall, CFC will receive $25 million and TFC will get $19.23 million from the fund.

Drouin noted the two sectors sell more than $3 billion in product each year.

“Collectively, your organizations are doing a great job of sharing with Canadians how our farmers are delivering top quality sustainably grown food to their tables,” he said, adding the revenues help support rural communities.

The new program is designed to increase domestic demand and consumption through industry-led promotional activities, he said.

It will also help the sectors cope with lost market share from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Darren Ference, chair of TFC from Gibbons, Alta., said the impacts have yet to be felt as they wait for more turkey-producing countries to ratify the CPTPP.

“When that comes in, it will be a major hit to the industry,” he said.

The situation is similar at CFC, said chair Tim Klompmaker from Norwood, Ont.

“There’s a couple of countries that are looking to ratify the agreements to come into CPTPP and once that happens then the access will ramp up and actually ramp up fairly quickly,” he said.

Drouin said the investments in market development will improve consumer awareness.

“(They) will help get the word (out) about how chicken and turkey farmers are leading the way in environmental stewardship and animal welfare, from solar energy to bird-friendly housing,” he said.

The fund is part of a $691 million investment to help poultry and egg farmers.

Klompmaker said producers have worked hard to earn consumers’ trust but need to keep “telling and living our story in ways that remind people that their trust in us is warranted.”

The Canadian brand is becoming more recognized and requested in grocery stores and restaurants.

“We’ve achieved a 40 per cent awareness rating amongst consumers for our brand. And that awareness goes up to 42 per cent with millennials, a key target audience for our sector.” 

Klompmaker said that percentage already indicates success.

“That is really good considering the fact that we’ve only started the brand about six or seven years ago and all the experts that we deal with on branding tell us it takes most brands twice as long to reach that kind of recognition.”

Ference said TFC had already launched an industry-led market development program and the new funding will extend it.

– This article was originally published at The Western Producer.

Source: Farmtario.com