Memo to Canadian chicken producers — circle June 18, 2023, on your calendar, or at least your kid’s calendar
That is the day, maybe even earlier, that fraudulent foreign chicken imports will completely take over the Canadian chicken market, rendering quotas and quota values worthless.
But don’t take my word for it.
Glenn Black, a small flock producer from Ontario’s Manitoulin Island who has been waging a war against the structures of the chicken supply management system for several years (he calls them the “chicken mafia”), made the prediction last week.
He also sent out an email showing Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne as a pharaoh and government and the chicken mafia choking a chicken.
Black says the chicken industry hierarchy has been slow to recognize the threat of “spent fowl” imports from the United States getting into Canada and then being sold as chicken.
This year, Chicken Farmers of Canada warned Ottawa that if it does not clamp down at the border, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of domestic sales will be lost to domestic producers, and the problem will grow.
Already, spent fowl captures 10 percent of the market, CFC told agriculture minister Gerry Ritz in the summer.
Black insists the threat has been around for a decade, but CFC was “asleep at the switch.”
Now, it is asking government for protection.
“If the current trends continue, fraudulent spent chicken imports to Canada are forecasted to replace 50 percent of Canada’s domestic chicken production in just seven short years and 100 percent of domestic chicken production on or before June 18, 2023 (9.68 years from today),” he wrote Oct. 14.
Black did not explain how he could be so precise about the date but chicken quota holders take note — dump that quota before June 18, 2023.
It could be worthless, unless of course, something is done politically to deal with fraudulent spent hen imports.
On second thought, hang onto that quota until it is clear what action government will take.
The chance of any government allowing a takeover of the protected chicken industry through a loophole in supply management rules seems remote.