Quarterly Stocks of Frozen and Chilled Meats Survey (FRMT)

Detailed information for April 1, 2024





Record number:


The survey collects the data needed to produce statistics on the stocks of frozen and chilled meats held at establishments registered with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Data release - May 10, 2024


This survey collects data from cold storage warehouses on stocks of frozen and chilled red meat. These data are used by agricultural industry analysts and producers as they make production and marketing decisions. Government analysts also use the data to monitor the livestock industry or develop agricultural policies in Canada.

Statistical activity

The survey is administered as part of the Integrated Business Statistics Program (IBSP). The IBSP has been designed to integrate approximately 200 separate business surveys into a single master survey program. The IBSP aims at collecting industry and product detail at the provincial level while minimizing overlap between different survey questionnaires. The redesigned business survey questionnaires have a consistent look, structure, and content.

The integrated approach makes reporting easier for firms operating in different industries because they can provide similar information for each branch operation. This way they avoid having to respond to questionnaires that differ for each industry in terms of format, wording and even concepts. The combined results produce more coherent and accurate statistics on the economy.

Reference period: January 1; April 1; July 1; October 1


  • Agriculture and food (formerly Agriculture)
  • Livestock and aquaculture

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population consists of all cold storage warehouses storing red meat licensed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. This is also the observed population.

Instrument design

The electronic questionnaire was designed by Statistics Canada as part of the Integrated Business Statistics Program. This program incorporates business surveys into a single framework, using questionnaires with a consistent look, structure and content.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

The sampling unit is the establishment as defined on the Statistics Canada Business Register.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Respondents receive an email with a link to the electronic questionnaire. Telephone, facsimile or email follow-up procedures ensure a high rate of return during data collection.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

During data collection and processing, edits are used to detect errors or inconsistencies in the microdata records. These edits include value edits (e.g. values which fall outside of expected ranges), linear equality edits (e.g. Value1 + Value2 = Total Value) and consistency edits (e.g. stocks of a certain type of meat was declared, but no values were given). Comparisons are also done with historical responses.

Both quarterly reports and provincial totals are scrutinized to ensure that they are consistent with previous reporting periods and industry trends.


When total non-response and partial non-response occurs, and when reported data are considered incorrect during the error detection steps, automated imputation is used to fill in the missing information and modify the incorrect information.

Historical information (previous responses from the establishment) is the first method of imputation used. If no historical information exists then replacement using data from a similar unit in the sample (known as donor imputation) is used. If this is unsuccessful then an average value is imputed.

Subject matter experts may make additional manual changes to the data based on their knowledge and expertise.

Imputed data may need to be further adjusted through steps such as proration in order to respect the edits.


All units in the observed population are being surveyed. Estimation of totals is done by simple aggregation of the values of all estimation units that are found in the domain of estimation.

Quality evaluation

The survey results are evaluated through comparisons to previous estimates and other sources when available. Biological factors and industry limitations are used as a guide when evaluating the data or comparing to other data sets.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

As this is a small census style survey with rigorous follow-up as required, data quality is deemed to be very high. In the case of a late report, follow-up processes result in a high response rate. If the data cannot be obtained, estimates are made, and the data are revised the following quarter.

Non-sampling error:
Non-sampling error is not related to sampling and may occur for various reasons during the collection and processing of data. For example, non-response is an important source of non-sampling error. Undercoverage or overcoverage of the population, differences in the interpretations of questions as well as mistakes in recording, coding and processing data are other examples of non-sampling errors. To the maximum extent possible, these errors are minimized through careful design of the survey questionnaire, verification of the survey data, and follow-up with respondents when needed to maximize response rates.

For a census, the main source of error in statistical estimates is due to non-response. Non-response bias is minimized by making special effort during data collection to encourage non-respondents to reply to the questionnaire. In cases where imputation is required, imputed data is carefully reviewed to ensure validity and consistency with current and any previously reported data that is available.

Coverage error:
Statistics Canada regularly obtains a list of federally registered establishments from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that hold stocks of frozen and chilled meats. The Statistics Canada Business Register is updated with this information on a regular basis.

The response rate for the Quarterly Stocks of Frozen and Chilled Meats Survey is approximately 90%.

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