In Atlantic Canada, there is only one federally inspected beef plant Atlantic Beef Products which is located in Albany, PEI. Unfortunately, the processing plant has lost over $10 million over the last three years since it was opened and is in danger of closing after the PEI government announced that it will no longer cover the plant’s losses.
There does appear to be hope for the beef plant as detailed an article by the CBC.
The thing that frustrates me about this story is that it is very difficult to find products from the plant here in the Maritimes in order to support them. As far as I know, the only place in Fredericton which carried their products is the Atlantic Co-op store. Unfortunately you need to be a member of the Co-op to shop there and it is at the complete other end of the city from where I live. Why do the major chains such as the Atlantic Superstore and Sobey’s support their local producers and carry their products? Is it simply because it is easier to deal with Maple Leaf and other large companies and have them ship their products half way across the country instead of having to manage relationships with regional players?
I have already shifted some of my buying over to a store called “Pete’s Meat Market” which carries a much larger selection of local produce than the major chains (and usually at better prices!). My hope is that the major supermarkets will wake up and support local producers but I certainly won’t hold my breath.