Local cattle producers could see their product go across Canada

From the Truro Daily News- February 27, 2012

TRURO – If a Nova Scotian food distributor gets approval for a federal-provincial meat registration project, it will have a positive affect on all local cattle producers.

For Joe Ebbett, of Meadow Brook Farm in Balfron, that would be good news.

“It’s a wonderful project because it opens up trade routes for producers,” said Abbott, following the seventh Nova Scotia Cattle Producers annual general meeting held at the Best Western Glengarry on Saturday

“Especially for us here in the Maritimes because we’re so closely knit together.”

At the meeting, OH Armstrong FoodService’s Ted Devitt spoke about getting its support, as well as other producers in the province, in its application to obtain a federal registration number. The Kingston facility is one of 17 listed, along with Bible Hill’s Brookside Abattoir, on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website that are participating in the project.

“This would allow us to be able to keep 100 animals slaughtered in Nova Scotia rather than the 35 that it is now,” said Devitt

When an abattoir has a federal number, it can supply federally licensed processing facilities with product, including block ready and boneless beef, such as what OH Armstrong produces. It can then be distributed regionally, something that can’t be done with only a provincial status.

“With a federal number, you can distribute the product cross-Canada,” said Abbott, adding grocery store chains such as Sobeys and Loblaws ship across the country.

“Our objective is not to slaughter every cow there is in Nova Scotia, but to slaughter the cows and keep them in Nova Scotia…in our supermarkets,” Devitt said.

OH Armstrong has until March of next year to meet all the requirements to reach federal registration.

Also, during the meeting, a new executive was formed. Terry Prescott was named the new chairman, while Jim Fraser takes over as vice-chairman. Marilyn Carter is treasurer and George Smith was appointed as a member of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. Also, Larry Weatherby is the new Zone 4 board member.