Halal market focus for new northern Ontario plant

Packers: News Roundup from the November 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

A new federally inspected processing plant in North Bay, Ont., will target the local and international halal market, Stew Slater reports in Farmtario.

The new plant, which will only process carcasses at this point, is expected to open in December. The plant is owned by Canada Meat Group Inc., and the company’s owners also operate an abattoir and processing facility in Kiev, Ukraine.

Federal and provincial governments announced $2.4 million in funding earlier this year. The city has also supported the project through rebates for municipal taxes and permit fees and by selling Canada Meat Group three acres for the plant.

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Oleksandr Zahrebelnyi, president of Canada Meat Group, told Farmtario that the plant will employ 20 to 25 people in its first year. Once the plant is open, the company will acquire export certifications to sell into the Middle East, Europe and Asia, he said.

“We already have established relationships internationally and preliminary agreements in place to distribute our product within this network,” said Zahrebelnyi. The company also plans to meet requirements for kosher products at some point, he added.

There are hopes that a northern Ontario cattle processing plant will foster more cattle production in the region. North Bay is central to a few of the province’s beef producing regions and sits at the junction of Highways 11 and 17, two important corridors. But a federally inspected kill plant will need to be built before Canada Meat Group can easily tap into the region’s cattle supply.

However, Zahrebelnyi told Farmtario the company is considering getting involved with a kill plant.

“Our next step is to open an abattoir within the northeastern Ontario region and we believe that this will encourage beef farmers to raise more cattle as the transportation and logistics will be easier and less expensive for processing.”

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