Poultry sales up 15 per cent in 2008: StatsCan

Chicken and turkey meat sales values in Canada in 2008 rose 15 per cent over the previous year to $2.4 billion, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal statistics agency reported Wednesday that the value of all poultry products, including eggs, was up 13.1 per cent in 2008 compared to 2007, to a total of $3.2 billion. The value of egg sales rose 7.9 per cent to $823 million during that time.

Canada’s poultry farmers produced 1.2 million tonnes of meat in 2008, 85 per cent of which was chicken, including stewing hens. Chicken production was up 1.2 per cent from 2007 levels while turkey production, at 180,000 tonnes in 2008, rose 6.5 per cent from 2007.

Egg production in 2008 rose 0.4 per cent to 579.9 million dozen. Of those, 227.8 million dozen were produced in Ontario and 100.5 million dozen in Quebec.

The amount of poultry available for consumption in the Canadian diet has continued to increase, reaching 13.6 kg per person in 2008, up 1.5 per cent from 2007 and up 1.9 kg from 10 years ago.

“The introduction of varied and readily available easy-to-prepare and ready-to-eat poultry products appeals to the time-conscious consumer and has contributed to poultry’s ongoing popularity,” StatsCan said in its report Wednesday.

Egg consumption per person, meanwhile, has “stabilized” in recent years and sat at 11.5 dozen per person in 2008, following a drop in 2007, StatsCan said.

“Generally, the recent sustained growth in eggs available for consumption can be attributed to the publicity surrounding the nutritional benefits of eggs, the increased use of eggs by the food service sector, the growing popularity of value-added products and the expanded use and availability of processed egg products,” the agency said.

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