Eastern abattoir gets the chop

CANADA - After a business study found no justification for a $20 million federally inspected abattoir in Eastern Ontario, the Pro-East Beef committee has embarked on a second study investigating ways of improving beef product marketing in the region.
calendar icon 6 March 2007
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"The analysis showed there’s already difficulty supplying existing federally inspected facilities in Ontario and Quebec," said Felix Bussières of l’Union des cultivateurs franco-ontariens, which is sponsoring the project.

As a result, Pro-East Beef committee has changed its focus to expanded cull cow and process beef marketing in the region using existing slaughter facilities.

"We think it’s possible to work with existing resources in the region," Bussières explained.

The objectives are to obtain a sustainable price for cows, create new jobs in the regional agrifoods sector, and revitalize the beef industry, added Nadia Carrier, l’UCFO general manager.

Value-added is a key component of the new strategy, with the committee now considering quality finishing of cows headed for slaughter and beef products prepared locally.

The revised approach was explained Feb. 21 during a bilingual workshop at Alfred College which drew more than 50 people connected to the regional beef sector. It also came up for discussion March 1 in Bourget during l’UCFO’s 78th annual general meeting.

Launched more than a year ago, the movement to land a large abattoir had been headed by then l’UCFO president Pierre Bercier who was claimed by cancer a few months ago. During the UCFO meeting, Bercier’s memory was honoured through introduction in his name of a new award for excellence in agriculture.

At one point, there were two separate abattoir lobbies underway, one under Bercier covering the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, and another out of North Dundas Township led by former deputy-mayor Bill Smirle.

After the two groups realized they were after the same thing and duplicating funding requests for feasibility studies to senior levels of government, they came together under the Pro-East banner.

Source: Agri News
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