May 8, 2019
by TOM WALKER
Ten years after its creation, the BC Association of Abattoirs is waiting for the province to take action on two reports intended to enhance meat processing capacity in the province.
The legislature received a report last fall from the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fish and Food, which was resurrected to examine and make recommendations regarding local meat production in BC.
It followed a two-month consultation by the BC Ministry of Agriculture regarding class D and E meat processing licences that wrapped up in April 2018.
“The minister was hearing concerns from both sides, not just that we don’t have enough [licences] but also we have concerns about the way it is being run,” Gavin Last, executive director of the ministry’s food safety and inspection branch told the abattoirs association last year.
BC agriculture minister Lana Popham told Country Life in BC last November that changes are a priority.
“Rural BC’s been telling me for years the meat regulations aren’t working, there’s not enough capacity for slaughter,” she said. “Well, we’ve just completed a consultation on slaughter, I know they need more access to local slaughter, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
However, Last told the abattoirs association’s annual general meeting at the end of April that government had yet to provide any specific responses.
Nevertheless, association president Dave Fernie was optimistic.
“It’s been 10 years since we hunkered down in a basement room at the Stockman’s Hotel in Kamloops,” he told members. “We each put in 10 bucks and we cobbled together an association. It’s been challenging, but we are making headway.”
One of the association’s newest members is Kamloops rancher Paul Devick, who recently opened a brand new 6,000-square-foot abattoir under a Class A licence. The plant was built to provide gate-to-plate processing for his family’s 850 cow-calf pairs, as well as serve other local producers.
Devick continues to look to the future, and is keen on the Ecodrum, a commercial in-vessel composter from Tri-Form Poly Inc. of Manitoba.
Tri-Form CEO Matt Epp told association members that the device can reduce a whole chicken carcass to compost in 14 days and break down abattoir waste in seven days.
Vol. 105 Issue 5
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
What on earth?
Opposition slams ALC bill
Sidebar: Protection & pushback
Editorial: Truth in labelling
Back Forty: So you don’t believe in climate change
Viewpoint: Don’t blame the cows for global warming
Ag council’s lobbying efforts produce results
Learning a new skill
Foundation’s nest egg for funding projects increases
Province will hold the line on piece rates
New CEO aims to kindle team spirit at co-op
FIRB decision prompts rethink of pricing scheme
Beekeepers see potential in technology transfer
AgSafe markes quarter century
Raspberries hit hard by harsh February
Blueberry growers anxious for new varieties
Biological controls for pests in demand
Sidebar: Pesticides in play
Growers urged to focus on fresh
Westgen celebrates 75 years of excellence
Top seller was no-show at Holstein sale
Spring show attracts exhibitors from Quebec
Cheesemakers unite to grow niche market
Range use permits under greater scrutiny
Sidebar: Range use plans go digital
Market Musings: Top bulls sell for top dollar at spring sales
Grapegrowers share sustainability objectives
Grape specialist honoured for dedication
Hazelnut production expands across BC
Sidebar: Pest pressures
Supporters take to AITC’s Sips & Sprouts
Research: Cultured meat fails to impress researchers
UAVs undergo testing for pesticide delivery
Sustainability goes beyond saving farmland
Father and daughter roll with the last of the steel wheels
Woodshed: Susan Henderson is warming to country life
Wannabe: Farming is more than just a job
Surplus, cull fruit finds new purpose as tasty snacks
Jude’s Kitchen: Special food for special moms