OTTAWA – Canada’s hardworking farmers are the backbone of its economy, particularly in rural communities. They ensure families across Canada and around the world, have safe, high-quality food on their tables. The Canadian turkey industry is a vital part of the Canadian poultry sector, producing turkey products worth $412-million a year and a pillar for growth, job creation and innovation across the country.

Member of Parliament for London North Centre, Peter Fragiskatos, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, announced on April 4 at the National Poultry Show in London an investment of almost $240,000 to the Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) to assist producers in meeting the highest animal welfare, biosecurity and food safety standards.

“Turkey has long held a place of honour at Canadian dinner tables. Consumers more than ever are asking our farmers to respect the highest of standards of food safety and animal welfare. This investment will help the turkey industry meet these demands and continue to offer families across Canada turkey products that are of the highest quality and safety,” said Minister MacAulay.

TFC received $98,235 to conduct the final government recognition stages of its On-Farm Food Safety Program that will help enhance the credibility of production practices with buyers, stakeholders and consumers.

An additional $141,200 was provided to amend TFC’s current Flock Care Program which enables the turkey industry to demonstrate adherence to national standards for animal welfare, and provides buyers and consumers with the assurance that all animal welfare standards are met and up to date.

“These food safety and animal welfare programs being run by the Turkey Farmers of Canada give their customers the confidence that Canadian turkey products are of the highest quality and safety. The investments announced today will help support the local economy of the London area, where many poultry farmers are located and supporting well-paid middle class jobs,” said Fragiskatos.

The Turkey Farmers of Canada represent more than 500 producers in eight provinces. In 2016, Canada exported over 9.2 million poults (young turkey) worth $35.9-million to seven countries. This investment was made through the Assurance stream of the AgriMarketing Program under Growing Forward 2.

“We appreciate the government investment in agriculture. Canadian turkey farmers will use it to continue earning and keeping public trust. More consumers than ever want to know where the food they eat has been produced. We want to continue building their confidence in our great Canadian product. That’s why this government investment is important. TFC’s On-Farm Food Safety and Flock Care Programs are continuously updated and improved, demonstrating our commitment to ensuring the proper care of our birds and providing safe, high quality food for Canadians,” said Darren Ference, Chair of Turkey Farmers of Canada.