Ontario Chicken Innovation
and Growth Program

An independently managed, first-of-its-kind program to accelerate consumer-facing
innovation and stimulate growth
in the Ontario chicken industry.

From addressing the growing need for locally grown food, convenient meal options and heightened interest in healthy eating, our industry has adapted, giving Ontarians greater access to locally grown chicken, introducing packaging and processing innovations, and developing marketing programs highlighting chicken as a healthy protein source.

The results speak for themselves: Chicken is the most popular meat protein in Canada, with 84% of Canadians purchasing fresh chicken on a regular basis according to a recent study by Chicken Farmers of Canada.

Much of this success is the result of collaboration from farm to plate. Every dollar of chicken sales by Ontario chicken farmers and primary processors generates $3.25 billion in economic activity in towns and cities across our province.

It is in this spirit of innovation and collaboration that this Program was created – a new approach to bring consumer chicken products to market.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The first-of-its-kind in Canada
  • Consumer facing
  • Piloted or launched in Canada within the last 18 months
    and you have at least six months of sales data
  • Not a limited time offer
  • Made with chicken grown and fully processed in Ontario

By collaborating and rewarding innovation, we can do more to put innovative chicken products on the plates of Canadian consumers and enhance economic activity in Ontario.

How it works

The Program recognizes top consumer-facing innovations in the chicken industry, directing an additional supply of chicken to enable the innovation and accelerate growth.

All companies involved in the processing, marketing and sale of chicken products are eligible to enter including all primary and further processors, retailers, and foodservice and restaurant companies. If you are not a primary processor, you must have a primary processor as a co-applicant.

Your innovation must be designed for consumers and be the first-of-its-kind in Canada, and must use chicken grown and fully processed in Ontario.

In addition, the innovation must have some track record so that you can include at least six months of sales data in your application as well as a description of the innovation, forecasted sales data, market research and a marketing plan.

Congratulations to the 2018 co-recipients, Grand River Foods and Maple Lodge Farms. Complete the contact us form to be alerted to the start of the next application period.

All eligible applications are evaluated by an independent Advisory Committee of experts. The Advisory Committee considers qualitative and quantitative factors using a scoring system as follows:

Historical Sales Data
Projected Sales Data
of the Idea
Economic Value

Applications are scored on their own merits so there is the opportunity for multiple innovations to be recognized.

The Advisory Committee assesses each application and recommends the highest scoring applicants to the Chicken Farmers of Ontario Board of Directors for final approval. Applications must score at least 45 of 60 points in the historical sales data category and at least 70 points overall to be recommended.

Full details are available in the Program Policy.