‘Don’t take too long’

Mar­itime beef pro­duc­ers ask gov­ern­ments for sup­port

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS -

The or­ga­ni­za­tions that rep­re­sent cat­tle pro­duc­ers in P.E.I., Nova Sco­tia and New Brunswick want fed­eral and­provin­cial­help­togrowtheMar­itime beef in­dus­try.

The groups formed the Mar­itime Beef Coun­cil eight years ago, have de­vel­oped the Mar­itime Beef Sec­tor Growth Strat­egy over the past 16 months.

The strat­egy in­cludes ex­pand­ing the Mar­itime beef herd by 20,000 head in the next 10 years, a goal based on mar­ket de­mand and pro­jected growth.

Russ Mal­lard, pres­i­dent of the At­lantic Beef Prod­ucts (ABP) pro­cess­ing plant in Al­bany, P.E.I., at­tended

the open­ing day of the At­lantic Beef Sum­mit re­cently in Fox Har­bour, N.S., where mem­bers of the coun­cil met with in­dus­try and gov­ern­ment lead­ers.

Mal­lard said ABP has cus­tomers look­ing for more prod­uct right now.

“ABP could take 200 head ev­ery week, start­ing next week,” he said. “The sooner we get to that num­ber, the bet­ter. Let’s get it done, but don’t take too long.”

NathanPhin­ney,chairoftheMar­itime Beef Coun­cil and a beef feed­lot op­er­a­tor near Sackville, N.B., said the path to in­crease cat­tle pro­duc­tion through the Mar­itime Beef Strat­egy in­cludes an in­dus­try wide, re­gional ap­proach. “The beef sec­tors in our in­di­vid­ual provinces are too small to take on this growth to meet the mar­ket­de­mand,”saidPhin­ney.“We­need to col­lab­o­rate on ev­ery­thing from re­search and ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties to sup­ply­ing pro­cess­ing plants and the pro­duc­tion of qual­ity feed for our an­i­mals.”

Dur­ing the open­ing day of the At­lantic Beef Sum­mit, the coun­cil in­tro­duced its growth strat­egy to in­dus­try lead­ers and toured a nearby com­mu­ni­ty­pas­ture­tosee­how­some Nova Sco­tia farm­ers are al­ready work­ing to­gether to in­crease prof­its. The meet­ings con­tin­ued Wed­nes­day, when those in at­ten­dance were sched­uled to dis­cuss mov­ing the strat­egy into the im­ple­men­ta­tion phase.

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