What does Thanksgiving turkey mean to you?

For many Canadians, Thanksgiving is an opportunity for reflection, or simply to spend time with family and friends. For Canada’s 531 turkey farmers, Thanksgiving also means business.

As you can probably guess, Thanksgiving isn’t the only important holiday for Canadian turkey producers. Christmas turkey sales are equal to those made during Thanksgiving. Together, these two holidays play a vital role in the livelihood of Canadian turkey producers.

The value of Canadian holiday feasts

How important are these two holidays for Canadian turkey producers? It’s estimated that 4.6 million Canadian households (or 33 per cent) purchased turkeys or turkey products for Thanksgiving. Combined, Thanksgiving and Christmas accounted for 81 per cent of the 8.5 million turkeys sold in 2014.

Thanksgiving turkey sales amounted to 3.1 million or 37 per cent of total sales in 2014. This works out to an estimated farm gate value of over $140 million. Christmas turkey sales are similar with 3.8 million turkeys sold, an estimated value of nearly $175 million.

So this year, remember to give thanks to Canadian agriculture producers!

Craig Klemmer, Senior Agricultural Economist