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.

Gord YounG/the Nugget

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.

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