The supply managed sectors of Dairy, Egg and Poultry mean a lot to the BC economy.

In 2015 the supply managed farms in BC had combined revenues of $1.14 billion dollars, representing 40% of all farm sales in British Columbia.

From 2010 through 2015, the supply managed farm revenue grew by 18%, which translates to increasing job opportunities, provincial revenues and overall contribution to the economic well-being of British Columbia.

Dairy Farms 

Farm cash receipts on total GDP of dairy production in BC increased 18% from 2013 to 2015, or an average of 8% per year. While the general number of dairy farms declined slightly, the over-all sector economic contributions increased significantly.

In 2015, there were 494 dairy farms in BC. Dairy farms are relatively small, typically family run operations in BC with an average herd size of about 135. 

British Columbia is the third largest dairy producing province in Canada, behind Quebec and Ontario. Milk production on-farm is sent to processing facilities to be pasteurized and sold as fluid milk and cream or processed into other products, like cheese and yogurt. The main products produced on a BC dairy farm are fluid milk for consumption and industrial milk for processing. But the farm cash receipts of dairy products only tell part of the economic impact story. Typical dairy farms in BC also sell culled cows for beef, dairy genetics, forage crops, and custom work services. Eco Resources have estimated the value of these sales in their calculation of the economic impact of dairy in BC. 

According to Dairy Farmers of Canada research, for 2015, BC dairy farms contributed $678 million to the Canada’s GDP, $104 million to taxes, and a total 7,391 jobs to the BC economy.

Poultry Farms

In 2015, there were 582 poultry farms in BC with total farm cash receipts of approximately $572 million in 2015, which is about 14% of the Canadian total. Using Statistics Canada data from 2010 to 2015, farm cash receipts of poultry products in BC increase from 406 Million in 2010 to $572 Million in 2015, an increase of 41%. Poultry farms in BC include hatching egg, broiler chicken, turkey and table egg farms.

Hatching Egg

Hatching egg farms, also known as “broiler breeder” are part of the supply chain for the broiler chicken industry. These farms house hens and roosters. The hens produce fertilized eggs that are sent to a hatchery. When the eggs are hatched, the chicks are shipped to broiler chicken farms.

In 2015, there were 53 registered hatching egg farms in BC, a decrease of 10% since 2010. Farm gate sales were $42.8 million, which is about 15% of the Canadian total for hatching egg sales. 

"Supply managed farms in BC had combined revenues of $1.14 billion dollars, representing 40% of all farm sales in British Columbia."

Broiler Chicken 

Broiler chickens are chickens raised for meat purposes. In 2015, there were 332 registered broiler chicken farms in BC, an increase of 2% since 2010. The farm gate sales were $359 million representing about 15% of Canada’s total broiler chicken sales. 


Turkeys are raised similar to broiler chickens for meat. They share the poultry supply chain with chicken because they have the same hatcheries and processors. In 2015, there were 67 registered turkey farms in BC, an increase of 5% since 2010. The farm gate sales were over $49 million. 

Table Egg 

Egg farmers produce unfertilized eggs that are graded and sold as whole eggs or are sent to a breaker for further processing. In 2015, there were 128 table egg farms in BC, with farm cash receipts of $121.1 million, representing approximately 11% of the Canadian total.


Food Processing in BC 

The food processing industry is a significant component of the British Columbia economy, on par with the wood products industry. The revenue of province’s food and beverage processing/manufacturing industry was $9.8 Billion in 2016, approximately 18 percent of the total provincial revenue from manufacturing. This sector employs 33,000 people of whom 10,500 are in dairy and poultry processing. 

Although supply management is a policy developed to provide stability at the farm production level, it also benefits processors. Without an assured supply of locally produced products at regulated prices and with strong import controls, British Columbia processors would find it difficult to compete with lower cost jurisdictions such as the United States of America where the government subsidizes farm products. Also, the supply management system ensures that each province receives an equitable share of the national production of dairy, poultry and egg products.