The Ontario government is investing $13.5 million in a new poultry research centre in Elora, Ont. The Government of Ontario, the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) and the province’s four poultry industry boards signed a memorandum of understanding to invest in the new Ontario Poultry Research Centre to advance research and drive innovation for the poultry sector.
“As part of the Grow Ontario Strategy, our government is focused on enhancing our research and innovation capabilities across the agri-food sector,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This research centre will, once completed, equip our poultry industry with the tools and the knowledge to stay competitive while creating jobs, growing the economy and ensuring supply chain security.”
Ontario-led agri-food research conducted at this facility will support animal welfare, reproduction and nutrition, as well as meat quality and safety. Results will be shared with poultry farmers and the broader poultry business sector to encourage the adoption of innovative, safer, healthier and more efficient animal and on-farm production practices.
Ontario’s poultry industry includes more than 1,200 chicken and turkey producers and 432 egg farmers across the province who will benefit from the cutting-edge research and innovative technologies that will be housed onsite. The new centre is expected to begin construction in 2024 and be completed by 2026.
By investing in the province’s research infrastructure, the government is prioritizing made-in-Ontario research and innovation that boosts productivity, helps businesses grow, creates jobs and strengthens the economy.
- The new poultry research centre is a partnership between the Government of Ontario through the ARIO and the poultry sector’s four regulatory boards (Chicken Farmers of Ontario, Egg Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Broiler Hatching Egg and Chick Commission, and Turkey Farmers of Ontario) and the University of Guelph.
- Ontario has more than 2,060 poultry and egg farms that produce and sell the most poultry across Canada. In 2021, Ontario accounted for 457.3 million kilograms of chicken (including stewing hens), 68.3 million kilograms of turkey and 316.4 million dozen eggs produced in Ontario.
- In 2021, Ontario’s poultry contributed roughly $1.8 billion to the province’s economy.
- The Ontario agri-food sector supports more than 750,000 jobs in Ontario and contributes more than $47.6 billion each year to the province’s economy.
“OBHECC’S farmer and hatchery members are keen and excited to collaborate with our feather industry counterparts and other stakeholders in advancing this important project that will enhance Ontario’s leadership in poultry research and innovation.”
– William Bearss
Chair, Ontario Broiler Hatching Egg & Chick Commission
“The Poultry Research Centre of Excellence will help to further establish Ontario as a leader in innovation, sustainability, animal welfare and food safety. Chicken Farmers of Ontario is committed to supporting the research and innovation needs necessary to advance the chicken industry and the broader Ontario agriculture community. On behalf of the 1,300 chicken farming families across Ontario, we thank Minister Thompson and OMAFRA for your advocacy for the sector.”
– Murray Opsteen
Chair, Chicken Farmers of Ontario
“It is only through strong partnerships that Ontario will continue to be a leader in agri-food research and innovation. It really is amazing what can be accomplished when government, industry, and academia work together for the betterment of this important sector for Ontarians.”
– Dr. Lorne Hepworth
Chair, Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO)
“The new Ontario Poultry Research Centre in Elora is a major and future-forward step in advancing the sustainability, competitiveness and resilience of Ontario’s poultry industry through cutting-edge research, collaborative partnerships and innovation. The Centre will provide world-class University of Guelph researchers with the facilities and resources to conduct purpose-driven research on pressing industry challenges, supporting strong and stable poultry production across the province by improving animal health and welfare, food safety and production efficiency.”
– Dr. Malcolm Campbell
Vice-President (Research), University of Guelph