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Thread: Eased processing rules hurt mobile abattoirs

  1. #1

    Eased processing rules hurt mobile abattoirs


    I actually just got off the phone with Gerald Brinders after seeing this article on CBC
    He's ticked right off and wants to take the gov't to task on their complete mismanagement of the meat reg over the past 4 years.
    Understandably so.
    Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  2. #2
    Dennis Lapierre
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Falkland, BC
    Blog Entries

    Is Gerald a member of the BC Abbatoir's Association (BCAA)?

    I'm now on a Meat Industry Committee of the BCFPA. It has held only an introductory meeting so far, but my objective for being on the committee is to assure producer interests are considered as these regulatory matters continue to be amended and considered. I was hoping a member of the BCAA would be on it, too. Apparently nobody from that group is on the committee, yet. They, in my view, are the group small-scale producers have to work and strategize with for both entities to survive. Pushing the province to give custom processors what amounts to a franchise or secure operating territory isn't gaining them any friends and is probably not even legal, were the practice to be challenged in court.

    Small-scale producer and producers interested in developing a value-chain approach, which includes selling direct to farmgate clients need to find ways to operate with at least some chance of doing better than continuing on with the price-taking approach that has been the practice forever. The price-taking approach includes selling at auctions or taking whatever price a commercial buyer will offer when you ship your animals. Otherwise, what's the point of taking on a value-chain approach?

    Price-taking prices are set by the market. Market prices are strongly influenced by major buyers. This is the ceiling under which custom processors must find a way to exist, from the looks of things.

    It puts the value-chain interested producer and the custom processor in the same boat. Can they find a way to row in the same direction? The only way to find out is to talk about it and see whether there are commonalities that can be made useful to both.

  3. #3

    Good for you Dennis, I agree there should be a member of BCAA on that committee. Gerald is a member, I'm not yet because I'm still only a class C and the association is only for Licensed/inspected abattoirs.
    I agree with you that monopolies are not the way of free enterprise that's why I have no problem with another abattoir opening or deciding to service the area I operate in. Did you hear that Farmcrest foods in Salmon Arm has now gotten into the custom small flock business? So now people of the north okanagan have another gov't inspected option, which I believe is a good thing.
    Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  4. #4

    There are 3 small abattoirs here in Kelowna one for lamb one for beef (I'm not sure if they do pork too) and one for poultry all holding the gov't approved for farmgate sales class C transitional licence to enable them to still service the community while they made the necessary upgrades to be fully gov't inspected.

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  5. #5

    Yes, and all 3 have been having a heck of a time making that transition because still after 4 years, most of the gov't agencies still don't know how to cope with small custom abattoirs and keep tweaking their rules. Or are still trying to squeeze a small custom abattoir into a big processing facilities pair of shoes.
    All of this should have been thought of BEFORE the meat reg was implemented, not after. Some small abattoir who have been trying have reached a point where enough is enough and may not continue. I not sure if this is the case with any of the kelowna abattoirs yet (but I think they're close). But I have spoken with people in other areas of the province that are definitely done with being jerked around by this regulation.
    Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  6. #6

    Seeing as I popped off on the general thread about people not being active and posting, I figured I'd start with doing so myself.
    So more info on this...
    I was talking to one of these local Kelowna abattoir owners last night. So it seems like the big issue still for a lot of these little custom places is weekend inspection.
    Most of the farmers who are using small custom places are not full time farmers and need to be able to access slaughter on weekends.
    So that's now definitely 4 small processors I know about who's transition to class B or A seems to be hindered by the weekend inspection thing.
    Being a seasonal business one needs to "make hay while the sun shines" so if that means working 7 days a week for a few months then that's the way it is.
    The gov't agencies and inspection bodies need to fully understand this and get onboard. This issue is a deal breaker for many of these plants.
    Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

    Mahatma Gandhi

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