Continue to grow a profitable broiler hatching egg industry in Canada in order to ensure a strong, efficient and competitive industry and a dependable supply of quality broiler hatching eggs to the Canadian chicken industry.
About the Canadian Industry
In 2012, there were approximately 245 broiler hatching egg producers in eight provinces across Canada who produced 665.6 million broiler hatching eggs worth more than $270 million and supported 4,000 direct and indirect jobs in Canada. These broiler hatching eggs were placed into incubators and hatched into more than 650 million broiler chicks. In addition, another 145 million broiler hatching eggs and chicks were imported from the United States. In all, these broiler hatching eggs and chicks helped supply more than 2,600 chicken farmers across Canada with day-old chicks, allowing them to meet the needs of the Canadian chicken industry.
The average broiler hatching egg farmer in Canada raises flocks of between 10,000 to 15,000 broiler breeder birds that begin laying fertilized eggs at approximately 26 weeks of age. Each broiler breeder bird will typically lay 150 to 160 fertilized eggs over the course of a laying cycle that normally runs 34 to 36 weeks in duration. These fertilized eggs are collected daily and are inspected by farmers before being shipped to hatcheries where the eggs are placed into specialized incubators for a 21-day period where they will hatch as broiler chicks.
What do we do?
CHEP’s primary responsibility is to ensure that our broiler hatching egg farmers are producing enough broiler hatching eggs to meet the needs of the Canadian chicken industry. CHEP, along with our counterparts in the chicken, turkey, egg and dairy sectors, operates under an orderly marketing system known as supply management. The supply management system in Canada consists of quota, import and price controls that help ensure stability for farmers while delivering a steady supply of safe, high quality and nutritious chicken, turkey, egg and dairy products to Canadian consumers and the food service industry.
CHEP was established in 1986 under the Farm Products Agency Act (FPAA) through an agreement of the federal and provincial governments and broiler hatching egg producers. CHEP is the youngest of Canada’s five supply management agencies and its head office is located in Ottawa.
CHEP’s structure consists of a 9-member board of directors who provides direction on allocation, policy matters and many other issues. CHEP’s board of directors is made up of one chair who does not vote, one elected producer representative from each of the six member provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec) as well as two members (one from the east and one from the west) appointed by the Canadian Hatchery Federation (CHF).
CHEP convenes industry meetings three times a year where it reviews market conditions and establishes provincial broiler hatching egg allocations to meet the anticipated market requirements of the Canadian chicken marketplace. CHEP also discusses various regulatory issues related to quotas, levies, inter-provincial trade of broiler hatching eggs and chicks, international trade, food safety and animal welfare.
CHEP is a leader in food safety initiatives and has implemented the Canadian Hatching Egg Quality Program (CHEQ™). This program is based on international hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) principles and is consistent with the food safety approach developed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). CHEQ™ provides producers with a comprehensive set of Good Production Practices that each farmer is committed to follow and is a major component of the Canadian poultry industry’s "gate to plate" strategy. It complements other food safety initiatives within the chicken industry developed by the feed mills, hatcheries, chicken farmers and processors.
CHEP administers a research fund, financed by farmers, that provides grants to researchers across Canada to improve the health and performance of breeder hens, taking into account environmental and animal welfare concerns. CHEP is also a founding member of the Canadian Poultry Research Council (CPRC).
CHEP is dedicated to promoting a high level of animal welfare for broiler breeders in Canada. CHEP recognizes that animals need to be raised, transported and slaughtered humanely. As such, CHEP is developing an on-farm Animal Welfare Assessment Program that will demonstrate our farmers’ adherence to appropriate standards.