Farmers' Markets Ontario - Come for the freshness... Stay for the fun Farmers' Markets Ontario
Farmers' Markets Ontario


CFO Expands Local Food Communities with New Artisanal Chicken Program

Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) is continually looking to meet the changing needs of Ontario consumers and markets. Last year, CFO announced a number of new programs designed to help farmers and independent processors fill local food and seasonal markets, giving Ontario consumers more choice and options in how and where they buy locally-grown chicken. These new programs include an Artisanal Chicken program which is targeted to smaller, independent, family-farmers and the independent meat processing community looking to cater to markets within their communities. This innovative program is the first of its kind in Canada.

Under the CFO Artisanal Chicken program, non-quota holding farmers who wish to grow between 600 and 3000 chickens each year can partner with Farmer’s markets to provide Artisanal Chicken for select identified markets. Family food growers continue to grow up to 300 chickens per year for home consumption or farm-gate sales under the CFO Family Food Program. These birds can not be sold at farmer’s markets.

Key components of the Artisanal Chicken Program:

  • Candidates apply and if successful, are licenced by the Chicken Farmer of Ontario (CFO) on an annual basis
  • Each farm visited by CFO staff during the licencing process
  • 80% of Artisanal Farmers were previously Family Food (Small Flock) growers
  • Compliance required with governing CFO Regulations and Policies including certification in CFO’s On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program; Animal Care Program; and the Farm Worker Safety Program
  • Compliance with all relevant federal, provincial, regional, municipal, or other governmental boards or agency requirements (i.e. chicken must be processed in provincial or federal licenced processor)
  • Artisanal chicken production volume coordinated & controlled
  • Farmers may market chicken at farm gate, off the farm to local & distinct markets such as: farmer’s markets; farm-store; local restaurants & catering services; and independent grocers. Sixty chickens may be grown for home consumption

In January 2016, CFO granted licence approval to more than 80 local farmers from around the province to join the Artisanal Chicken Program. Each farmer will be provided an annual wallet-sized licence that demonstrates their approval for 2016 should your members wish to confirm their status.

CFO continues to focus on finding new ways to support the growth of a local chicken industry, increase job opportunities across the province and ultimately to provide fresh ideas to grow Ontario.

For more information please contact Susan.Pol, Community Programs Representative, at or by telephone at 289 288 4231.

More Announcements...

29-Apr-16 - Changes Regarding Wine and Cider Sales at Farmers’ Markets
Announcement 1 - 1 of 1



Our Social Networks

Visit us on Facebook

MyPick Verified Local Farmer My Market

Special features

What's in season & how to use it
Find out what crops are in season now (or will be soon). Learn about Ontario produce and how to pick it and prepare it. Click here to go to the Foodland Ontario website. (It's amazing!)

Want to start a farmers' market?
Find out what it takes (and how long it takes) to start a successful market in your community.
However, before you attempt our questionnaire we recommend that you read our Checklist and Timelines.

Click here to fill out our online questionnaire.

Join Farmers' Markets Ontario®
If your market qualifies as a true farmers' market, it should be part of Farmers' Markets Ontario® so it can start enjoying the benefits of membership. Click here to find out more.

Special events at Ontario markets
Find out which markets are having special events. Click here for an up-to-date list.