A total of $12 million will be invested in the future of the Maritime beef processing industry by the governments of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, and the Government of Canada through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). The funding will allow for the development of higher-value, differentiated beef products for the international, national and local markets.
This one-time investment will assist Atlantic Beef Products of Borden-Carleton, P.E.I. to undertake marketing initiatives for diversified and value-added products, purchase specialized equipment, and provide advanced training. As the Maritimes’ only federally inspected beef processing facility, Atlantic Beef Products is a critical piece of infrastructure for the Maritime beef industry.
“The beef industry’s impact on the economy is estimated to be $90 million in New Brunswick, where it generates close to 700 jobs, mostly in rural areas of the province,” Agriculture and Aquaculture Minister Ronald Ouellette said. “Co-operation between our three provinces and the federal government to make this regional beef-processing facility sustainable over the next three years will enhance the agriculture industry’s ability to play an important role in our government’s goal of achieving self-sufficiency.”
“As outlined in the recent throne speech, our government is standing up for Canada’s traditional industries, and is prepared to take action to help workers in these industries adjust to global conditions,” said National Defence Minister Peter MacKay, who is also minister of ACOA. “This one-time investment will help the Maritimes’ only federally inspected beef plant to improve efficiency and expand capacity and markets.”
The federal share of the total investment is $6 million, with the three provincial governments each contributing $2 million.
“After a great deal of hard work, I’m very pleased that four governments have worked co-operatively to sustain an important part of our region’s agricultural infrastructure,” Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz said. “This announcement would not have been possible without the strong support of consumers and retailers in this region, who recognize the importance of supporting the local economy.”
Owned by the Atlantic Beef Producers Co-operative, representing more than 200 beef producers from the Maritime provinces, Atlantic Beef Products currently employs 90 workers, and generates an annual payroll of $3 million.
“I am pleased that the provinces and the federal government have been able to work together for the benefit of our Maritime beef industry,” said Nova Scotia Minister of Agriculture Brooke Taylor. “It will be our role as governments to support the Maritime Beef Council and our local producers so they can take full advantage of this great opportunity to market locally grown beef through a federally inspected Maritime plant. This is a great asset for our buy-local campaign.”
An aggressive marketing and business plan to be developed by Atlantic Beef Products will build on operational and management changes that have been implemented at the plant in recent months. The facility’s existing state-of-the-art traceability system, which follows the cattle from farm through processing and to retail stores, will also be a key element in the development and marketing of new products.