Patience is key to finding a turkey for the holidays: poultry processing council

The Canadian Poultry and Egg Processing Council isn't expecting any shortage of turkeys this holiday season. File Photo / Getty Images

If you’re not seeing a turkey for your upcoming holiday dinner in the grocery store, there’s no need to panic.

The Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council says there are plenty of turkeys to go around. But there may be delays in getting turkeys to the grocery store because of supply chain issues.

“Maybe they need to return to the store a second time if they can’t find it the first time. We’re very, very confident Canadians will find the product they are looking for,” Council President Jean-Michel Laurin, said.

Read more: Supply chain problems put squeeze on Manitoba winemaker

Processing was ramped up by about 10 per cent this year as producers anticipated bigger gatherings compared to 2020.

“We were expecting stronger demand for this year so we ramped up production to ensure there can be a turkey on the table,” said Laurin.

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There could be a bit of a jump in price, he said, thanks to the pandemic and ongoing drought conditions.  Those higher prices are already showing up in some parts of the country.

Read more: Holiday dinners in B.C. could cost more due to higher turkey prices


“What’s fed to turkeys while they are growing? Well, it’s mostly corn, soy and other grain products. Turkeys take about six months to raise. And over the past year, we’ve seen grain costs much higher compared to previous years,” said Laurin.

Turkey producers in British Columbia have had to increase prices this holiday season due to extreme weather events, according to the B.C. Turkey Marketing Board.

“We’re facing incredibly high prices for our wheat products, so that’s the main reason you’re seeing some spikes in pricing,” the B.C. Turkey Marketing Board’s Michel Benoit said.

Officials are hoping prices will adjust to a more normal level in the new year.

While you may need some extra patience, Laurin is confident everyone will find the right turkey for Christmas dinner.

“There are small ones and big ones available. You should have some meat to feed the family and last right into new year. No need to panic buy across the country right now,” Laurin said.

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