Chickens from Thailand used in St. Hubert's frozen pot pies
It's not quite what we would normally think of as Thai chicken, but the chicken used in St. Hubert's frozen pot pies comes from Thailand — about 14,000 kilometres away from the Boisbriand plant where the products are packaged.
A spokesperson for the company admitted that much to La Presse, arguing that importing chickens from Thailand is actually cheaper — as much as 50 per cent cheaper — despite the fact there are no less than 737 chicken farms spread out across Quebec.
The key ingredient in the pot pies is apparently unavailable in Quebec — white meat chicken cut into half-inch cubes, cooked, then frozen.
Nonetheless, that bit of news isn't sitting well with chicken farmers, or CJAD 800 listeners.
"Yes, I'm angry about that," says Pierre-Luc Leblanc, the president of the Quebec federation that represents chicken farmers. "We want to sell chicken. And the fact that someone isn't using Quebec chickens with all of the effort and care we put into raising them...the customer is missing out on something good."
Leblanc insists the standards by which chickens are raised in Quebec are better than those found on other places.
Meanwhile, most callers to CJAD 800's Elias Makos show on the subject were appalled at the news, despite the fact that the St. Hubert chain uses locally-grown chickens for the products it's best known for — good old-fashioned barbecued chicken that tends to go well with dipping sauce.
And, ironically, the chicken used in their Bangkok salads appears to be locally grown, too.
Ken Connors with Bill Brownstein
Ken Connors with Christine Long