A young champion for more meat processing capacity in the Southern Interior has died.
Chad Maarhuis of Magnum Meats in Rock Creek collapsed May 10 following a business trip to Calgary. He was 37.
A graduate of the meat-cutting course at Thompson Rivers University, Maarhuis purchased Magnum Meats with his wife Erika in 2008. It operates the only abattoir in the Kelowna-Osoyoos-Creston triangle under a B-class licence. The business grew steadily and currently serves more than 800 meat producers in the southern Interior.
To meet growing demand for processing capacity, a proposal has been put forward whereby a co-op would set up a processing plant and lease it to Magnum, whose own cut-and-wrap business is at capacity. This would build on Maarhuis’ expertise to expand processing capacity in the region.
The new facility could also make value-added products like sausages, something that interested Maarhuis. His recent trip to Calgary included the purchase of new sausage equipment and a smoker.
The local community and industry have rallied around the family, helping take care of immediate tasks while issues around ongoing operations get sorted out.
Maarhuis was vice-president of the BC Abattoirs Association and executive director Nova Woodbury is proud of how everyone, including the province’s meat inspector for the area, has stepped up to ensure the family has the support it needs. He leaves behind wife Erika, and three young children, Montana, Hunter and Casey.