October 28, 2014

Dear Commissioners of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission:

Canada’s restaurant industry purchases approximately $2.2 billion a year in Canadian chicken. It is a popular menu item at many of our members’ restaurants, and Restaurants Canada has long said it would like to be a full partner in promoting the growth and further development of the chicken industry.

Your commission is currently examining the cost of production (COP) formula used in setting the price of Ontario chicken. This process is important because the price set for chicken in Ontario determines the price charged for chicken across the whole country.

As you are aware, the commission requested input on the proposed amendments to determine the “minimum live prices for chickens that Ontario producers are paid.” On Oct. 8, we sent you a letter requesting:

    • a copy of all the amendments proposed, along with prices and costs; and
    • a full description of the cost of production formula in place since 2002, including any modifications either in formula or assigned costs/prices.

Restaurants Canada has not received any response. We are frustrated because we want to contribute to the important review work taking place and respond to the amendments you are considering.

The restaurant industry is Canada’s second-largest purchaser of chicken and has been denied intervener – even observer – status during this review. Our association is unable to respond to the commission’s invitation to provide commentary on the proposed amendments by the deadline of Nov. 6, because these amendments have not been made known. For that matter, details of the COP used since 2002 have also not been shared publicly. As a result, outside interveners like ourselves don’t know if amendments proposed by the current review significantly advance the consumer, our industry and – ultimately – the public interest.

Respectfully,

Garth Whyte
President and CEO

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