FAQs for Farmers

Who is eligible to participate?
Participants must:

  • Be a permanent resident of Ontario.
  • Be the beneficial owner of lands and buildings suitable for the production of chicken.
Applicants include:

  • Persons who are interested in growing artisanal chicken between 600 and 3000 birds per year for meat production.
  • Persons who are currently growing Family Food (previously small flock) chicken who are interested in increasing the amount they can grow to between 600 and 3000 birds per year.

What is the application process and deadlines?
  • Those interested in participating in the program are required to complete and submit an application digitally. 
  • The program has been designed to be an ongoing process. Farmers will be eligible for specific growing periods based on their application dates. CLICK HERE for a listing of Artisanal Chicken Program application deadlines.
  • Application will be considered in the order in which they are received until the allocation available in any year is reached. The available allocation will be 5% of the previous year’s growth.
  • Applications will be processed and initial premises inspections will be conducted within approximately 90 days of application submission. 
  • Applicants will be informed through the process if there are issues with compliance to the program requirements.
  • As part of the Application process, applicants must supply a water sample. Analysis must be performed at a municipal or provincial public health laboratory. Applicants must have the results available at the time of the farm inspection. 

What happens after an applicant is approved?
  • The approved applicant will be issued a production licence to grow and market artisanal chicken.
  • The production licence is specific only to the particular artisanal grower to whom it is issued and does not convey any property rights.
  • Artisanal chicken farmers may only produce and market chicken as an Artisanal Chicken Farmer. Chicken grown under this Policy is not to be marketed for home consumption (this means they cannot be in other CFO programs such as Family Food or be quota holders). 
  • Chicken grown under this Policy is not to be marketed for home consumption. This means birds must be refrigerated after slaughter including transport from the processor, storage and transport to the point of sale. 
  • Only one Production Licence will be issued in each year to the same person or premise(s).
  • For this Production Licence the approved applicant will be required to:
    • Meet all CFO policies and regulations immediately, or within a year if required
    • Demonstrate that an artisanal market is being met
    • Electronically transfer to CFO the Annual Production Licence Fee and Levy 
    • Maintain records to confirm compliance with the Program
    • Adhere to scheduled and random inspections or audits by an appointed inspector or agent of the Board
    • Complete and submit CFO's Forms electronically

What are CFO's digital business services?
  • CFO is endeavoring to provide excellent customer service digitally in all aspects of the Artisanal Chicken Program.
  • Approved participants are required to have the means to communicate digitally via email and to submit all forms once they are all made available on-line. CFO staff will be pleased to assist new Artisanal Chicken Farmers in the transition to digital business services.

Who has the rights to grow and market?
  • An Artisanal Chicken Farmer will grow an approved number of birds and continue with annual renewal until the Artisanal Chicken Farmer exits the sector. Upon exit, the production licence is returned to CFO.
  • An application for the Artisanal Chicken Farmer to increase production is required at annual renewal. Artisanal Chicken Farmers who comply with the program will be given priority over new applicants.

What is the Minimum Live Price?
Artisanal chicken marketed under this program must be marketed at a price not less than the Minimum Live Price determined under Ontario Regulation 402. Click here to access the latest Minimum Live Price.
What are the licence fees and levies?
  • CFO has established an Annual Production Licence Fee of 20¢ per quality chick placed. CFO and CFC fees and levies are also payable at 3.6¢ and 1.2¢ per chick respectively. These are payable when the license is issued and on annual renewal. 
  • Overproduction above 4% will result in a financial penalty of $1.00 /bird and impact consideration of future licences.

Can chickens from the Artisanal Chicken Program be sold at farmers' markets?
Yes, chicken grown by CFO Artisanal Chicken Program farmers can be sold at local farmers' markets.

It should be noted that Family Food Program growers' (formerly known as Small Flock growers) chicken cannot be sold anywhere other than the farm-gate.

More information about the Artisanal Chicken Farmer value chain
  • Artisanal Chicken Farmers will create relationships with hatcheries, processors and local markets. These relationships and partners need to be in place and described in the application.
  • Processors must be Provincially or Federally registered. 
  • Sales must be local and can include farm gate sales, local farmers markets, local retail stores, local foodservice outlets and local restaurants.

Is a licensed Artisanal Chicken Program farmer also able to grow chicken for home consumption?
Yes. Approved Artisanal Chicken Program farmers may grow up to 60 birds for home consumption. These birds may not be sold at the farm gate or commercially marketed.

For more information on this process, please Contact Us.  
Can approved Artisanal Chicken farmers self-hatch chicks?
Please contact Ontario Broiler Hatching Egg and Chick Commission (OBHECC) to discuss your specific situation and requirements for self-hatch ( 1- 519- 837-0005). 

Can approved Artisanal Chicken farmers purchase chicks at an auction?
Please contact Ontario Broiler Hatching Egg and Chick Commission (OBHECC) to discuss your specific situation and requirements for purchasing chicks at an auction ( 1- 519- 837-0005).