Ground broken for meat processor
Company from Ukraine teaming up with North Bay’s Bavarian Meats
A new business broke ground at the city’s airport industrial park Friday.
Canada Meat Group Inc. marked the beginning of construction of its new processing facility on Roundel Road with a groundbreaking ceremony at the site.
The company, which aims to open the facility next August, says it operates a similar meat-processing plant, along with an abattoir and full-fledged cattle operation, in Kiev, Ukraine.
It’s teamed up with North Bay’s Bavarian Meats to help get its Canadian operation up and running and distribute its products.
“Bavarian Meats will act as the sales agent for Canada Meat Group and also supply training and a bunch of support to get the plant moving,” said Bavarian president Jamey Heaton.
While production at the plant is expected to start off at a lowerscale, Heaton said operations will ramp up over 12 months. Ultimately, Bavarian is expecting to hire up to 15 new workers, while Canada Meat Group creates as many as 45 jobs.
“We need to be approved by the Canada Food and Inspection Agency and our goal is to have the export licences that we really want to go after within the first six to nine months,” he said, noting the group is looking at markets in Europe and the Middle East.
The new facility will operate as a meat-processing plant and cold storage facility, with the goal of increasing sales of Canada Meat Group’s products, including Kosher and Halal meat products in Ontario, across Canada and globally.
Canada Meat president Oleksandr Zahrebelnyi said the company had plans to grow the business. And Zahrebelnyi said he starting looking at Canada after making several visits here because his son attends university in Vancouver.
“I think Canada is best place in the world for new people to start new businesses,” he said, thanking the city for its support.
The city’s economic development team worked with Canada Meat Group for two years. And Heaton suggested a key reason that the business settled on North Bay is the “great support from local government.”
He said that includes the NECO Community Futures Development Corporation, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund and the city.
“They really support new business. They try help with everything from training to grants to support to help us grow,” he said.
The city sold Canada Meat the site at the airport industrial park – approximately three acres – for about $123,000.
It’s also providing assistance under its airport community improvement plan, including $25,135 in rebates for fees, including a building permit and a site plan control agreement, as well as $29,862 in tax rebates over three years
George Burton, president of the Invest North Bay economic development corp., said the credit for landing the new business goes to the city’s economic development staff.
But, he said, Invest North Bay did play a role in helping to woo the owners, helping to connect them within the community to schools, real estate and other services.
“We were very aggressive with them and persistent,” he said, noting that the doggedness and determination paid off. “they fell in love with city. and once they fell in love with the city, it was just a mater of timing.”
burton said Invest North bay also committed resources in the form of bridge funding if needed as part of the negotiations. but, he said, the meat group didn’t require the added assistance.
he said Canada meat group is bringing jobs to the city and is a growing business serving an international market.
“they already have expansion plans on the drawing board. they’re committed to our city,” said burton.
Officials, including North Bay Mayor Al McDonald, Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota and Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, joined Canada Meat Group and Bavarian Meats for a ground-breaking event Friday for a new processing facility in the city's airport industrial park.