Fall quota level based on ‘rebound’ in chicken demand

National allocation trimmed two per cent for September-October period

A relatively small tweak to national chicken quota allocation has been set for much of this autumn, following a stretch of heavy pandemic-related cuts.

At a Chicken Farmers of Canada meeting Tuesday, national allocation for quota period A-165 (Aug. 30 to Oct. 24, 2020) was set at minus two per cent from its adjusted base. That translates to a total allocated chicken volume of 188,169,106 kg (eviscerated), nationally, for the period.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CFC and its provincial counterparts have been grappling with reduced processing capacity and volatile consumer demand, including spikes due to retail panic buying and drop-offs from the near-closure of Canada’s restaurant and foodservice sectors.

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The relatively small cut announced Tuesday follows adjustments in April of minus 13 per cent nationally for periods A-163 (May 10 to July 4) and A-164 (July 5 to Aug. 29) from the base for those periods, so as to “reduce production and address the concerns of our value chain partners,” CFC said.

The cut for A-164 was then revised upward slightly in May, to minus 12 per cent, based on what CFC described as “a slight increase of demand by foodservice, as some companies begin the reopening process.”

After an “initial surge” in the wake of the COVID-related isolation measures set up across Canada in March, demand for chicken weakened, Chicken Farmers of Ontario said Tuesday in a separate release.

Now, however, consumer demand “appears to have rebounded to a great extent, albeit at different rates for different product types and consumer channels,” CFO said.

CFO said its latest recommendation “was framed on a public policy of ‘balanced best interest’ upon weighing the various factors, perspectives and dynamics resulting from the pandemic.”

Volume allocation for quota period A-166 (Oct. 25 to Dec. 19) is expected to be set at CFC’s board meeting next month, CFO said. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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