The Chicken Squad Investigates: Supply Management

Date: October 23, 2017

The Chicken Squad is a fictional agency inspired by the real team of provincial inspectors at the British Columbia Chicken Marketing Board who work hard to enforce the Chicken Farmers of Canada Standards.

Supply management enables farmers to manage their production levels, stabilizing the provincial chicken supply and ensuring consumers have access to high-quality, nutritious chicken. In addition to regulating volumes of chicken production, the BC Chicken Marketing Board monitor and enforce production practices. A team of dedicated inspectors ensure that BC chicken is raised to the highest standards in food safety and animal care.

What is Supply Management?

Supply management is an industry risk management technique that plans the production of chicken, ensuring stores and plates are always filled with local Canadian chicken. Consumers are assured a reliable supply of fresh, high-quality food at a reasonable price. Supply management supports a healthy, sustainable sector whose farmers are able to reinvest with confidence in their communities and businesses.

The Three Pillars of Supply Management

In order for the supply management to function properly, there are three pillars that must exist in tandem: import controls, live price controls, and production controls.

Import Controls

Canadian chicken farmers need to be able to safely predict how much chicken will be imported to determine domestic production needs. They use tariff rate quotas with effective over-quota tariffs to track imports of chicken products.

Live Price Controls

The farm price is negotiated with processors and is set every eight weeks based on the prices in other provinces and the cost of production. The price is designed to ensure that BC chicken farmers are receiving a fair price without the need for subsidies. BC chicken farmers do not set any wholesale or retail prices.

Production Controls

A quota system is used to ensure that farmers provide a steady stream of quality chicken, preventing surpluses or shortages and sudden price shifts. Growers are allowed to produce a certain volume of broiler chicken, expressed in live weight every eight weeks. On average, each chicken produced in BC represents 1.929 kg of live weight quota.

Supply Management Quotas

In BC, there are two types of quota:

  • Mainstream – includes broilers, roasters, and Cornish hens derived from a commercially available broiler chicken stock (Hubbard ISA, Cobb Vantress, or Ross Breeders).
  • Specialty – includes Asian specialty breeds (Silkie and Taiwanese).

The British Columbia Chicken Marketing Board works collaboratively with Chicken Farmers of Canada to ensure consumers have access to affordable, healthy chicken that is grown to industry standards. If you would like to learn more about the Chicken Squad or about supply management, please contact the British Columbia Chicken Marketing Board at 604-859-2811 or by fill out a contact form on our website. BC Chicken is a non-profit organization that works to regulate the production and marketing of chicken in BC. For the latest news and updates, follow us on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.