Ital­ian flavour in Acme

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Look­ing north as you head through Acme on High­way 575, trav­el­ers may have no­ticed a large pre­fab­ri­cated con­crete struc­ture be­ing erected.

Don’t be alarmed, Acme is just adding a lit­tle piece of Italy.

Sun­terra has teamed up with a fam­ily owned busi­ness in Mo­dena Italy to pro­duce au­then­tic high qual­ity cured Ital­ian pork prod­ucts, mar­keted un­der the la­bel So­leterra d’Italia.

Dave Price, di­rec­tor at Sun­terra ex­plains that in­ter­na­tional trade dis­cus­sions be­tween Canada and the Euro­pean Union spurred them to ex­plore this di­rec­tion.

“When the trade agree­ment with Europe was be­ing ne­go­ti­ated, we started look­ing for an op­por­tu­nity to sell some of our fresh pork into Europe in spe­cial­ized mar­kets, and we con­nected with an Ital­ian fam­ily that pro­duces a lot of pro­sciutto and salami in Italy, and they were in­ter­ested in our prod­uct,” Price tells the Mail.

The Si­monini fam­ily has been pro­duc­ing spe­cialty cured meats since 1927, over four gen­er­a­tions. This in­cludes ev­ery­thing from mor­tadella to pancetta.

“They came to Canada, had a look at the qual­ity of our meat here. The con­ver­sa­tion went from there, they were look­ing for an op­por­tu­nity for some in­vest­ments out­side Italy, and we ended up with an ar­range­ment that they would part­ner with us to pro­duce some Cana­dian prod­uct here,” said Price.

Last fall they be­gan work on the new fa­cil­ity in Acme. The first phase is ap­prox­i­mately 50,000 square feet, with a sec-

ond phase in the fu­ture that could al­most dou­ble the size. The Si­monini fam­ily helped to de­sign the lay­out of the plant and helped to source spe­cial­ized equip­ment.

“There is lot of prod­uct that is made faster, and short­en­ing up cure times, but that is the beauty of work­ing with these guys, they will make sure it is done right, here in Canada, and we would ex­pect Cana­di­ans and North Amer­i­cans to en­joy Cana­dian Based Ital­ian meat prod­ucts,” said Price.

The fa­cil­ity is a pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity. There is no slaugh­ter done on site. Cuts of meat will be taken from Sun­terra’s Trochu plant to the new fa­cil­ity where it will go through a natural dry cut­ting process, that has been per­fected over a num­ber of gen­er­a­tions.

The re­la­tion­ship es­tab­lishes a pres­ence in Canada for the prod­ucts, and they are also look­ing for­ward to a Sun­terra pres­ence in Europe.

“When the trade agree­ments and reg­u­la­tions are set­tled and the prod­uct can move, we can ex­pect to put some of our prod­uct on to them on a com­pet­i­tive ba­sis. In the mean­time we are ac­tu­ally im­port­ing some of their prod­uct to help de­velop the mar­ket ahead of ours be­ing cre­ated here,” said Price. “In our stores here are pro­sciutto and salami prod- ucts from Italy, and later, of course, it will be a very sim­i­lar prod­uct us­ing Cana­dian pork.”

“The qual­ity of their prod­uct will be unique in the mar­ket­place.”

mailphoto by Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Sun­terra has teamed up with a fam­ily owned Ital­ian meat pro­ces­sor with the aim of cre­at­ing au­then­tic Ital­ian cured meat prod­ucts with lo­cally raised pork.

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