Winnipeg, January 28, 2012 - The Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council congratulates Plains Processors of Carman, Manitoba for its continued progress on plans to upgrade its facility to become a federally-inspected beef plant.
“MCEC is pleased to be one of the funding partners on this project,” said Kate Butler, MCEC’s Executive Director who attended the plant’s sod-turning on Saturday. “We’re delighted to be working with other investors and lenders as the plant finalizes its plans.”
As part of its mandate to strengthen the Manitoba beef industry, MCEC announced financing of up to $920,000 for the project in 2011.
“This is a positive initiative for the producers and the economy of this province,” said Butler. “It’s a smaller plant making progress on offering access to local and export markets for Manitoba producers. Over time our goal is to help develop a diverse, sustainable number of federally-inspected beef plants here in Manitoba. Plains Processors has been working very hard to advance this project. We came to the table early with terms that are tailored to the best possible outcome for producers in this specific project.”
The Manitoba beef industry will remain at risk of trade disruptions until the province becomes home to federally-inspected plants like this one. The 2003 BSE crisis and the more recent XL Foods closure both affected Manitoba producers more severely than their peers elsewhere. Both episodes are clear warnings of what can happen if Manitoba producers don’t have good, export-capable marketing options for their animals.
“There is a significant price differential between Manitoba and Alberta for the same animals and only part of that is explained by freight and other obvious factors. We need options,” said Butler.
MCEC is committed to being a catalyst to bring federally-inspected beef plant capacity to Manitoba, which is in keeping with the agricultural policy principles outlined in the federal government’s Growing Forward strategy.
“We need continued commitment from provincial and federal governments, as well as from producers and producer organizations, to support policies that can create a stronger, more robust beef industry,” said Butler. “If we work together, we can build a very strong, profitable, export-capable industry to protect producers and build profit here at home.”