Lets Work Together to Develop Market Security

Abattoirs depend upon a strong ranching industry. A strong and resilient cattle industry with well-developed markets is essential to maintaining a healthy processing industry. So, when we sat down to create a strategic plan for abattoirs in British Columbia, we were keenly aware of the importance of working with the BC cattle industry to find solutions and develop markets for B.C. Beef.

The British Columbia Association of Abattoirs was established in 2009 to serve the needs of the 40 provincially licensed red meat and poultry abattoirs and federally licensed red meat abattoirs operating within the province of B.C.

In partnership with Investment Agriculture Foundation and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the B.C. Association of Abattoirs recently sponsored the development of a strategic plan for the B.C. Meat Processing Industry. In July 2010, 15 abattoirs from across the province came together with representatives from five livestock and poultry sectors, including Kevin Boone from B.C. Cattlemen’s Association and Bill Freding from B.C. Association of Cattle Feeders, to build the foundation of the strategic plan. The highlights of the plan, completed on October 10, 2010 are as follows:


Through a value chain approach, become a recognized provider of premium meat products tailored to meet the needs of B.C. customers while building a sustainable meat industry for B.C.’s producers and processors.

Principles and Values

  • Providing quality service in tune with customer needs
  • Providing quality products tailored to customer needs
  • Building strong communication links through the entire value chain from producers to consumers
  • Cultivating strategic partnerships with the livestock industries, distributors and suppliers, and with the
  • retail and food service sectors.
  • Ensuring food safety, environmentally responsible practices, humane treatment of animals
  • Ensuring viability – the ability to make a profit, while providing value to our communities

Broad strategic objectives:

1. Government Communications

  • BCAA will be a well-known and significant voice for the meat industry with the appropriate government ministries.
  • BCAA will have well-established relationships and communications with other associations in the industry as well as the livestock industry.

2. Distribution Costs/Access To Markets

  • Working with BCCA and BCACF, research what is required in terms of testing protocols and food safety auditing systems to access the larger retail and food service markets and build B.C. solutions for B.C. markets.
  • Create markets with chefs and specialty retail markets and support collaboration between abattoirs and with existing distribution companies for delivery.

3. Waste Disposal

  • BCAA to update meat industry on current and upcoming funding programs for innovative waste solutions. Encourage innovative, environmentally sound and value adding waste solutions such as rendering, wet rendering and biodiesel.

4. Public Education/Promotion

  • Through brand and protocol development, and implementing a public education program, build consumer awareness and preference for B.C. branded meat products.
  • September 2011 – For BCAA to have a plan in place to educate and promote the larger players (food service and retail) on the benefits of provincial processing as an alternative to federal.

5. Industry Communications

  • Continued inclusion of all provincially licensed abattoirs and any new federal red meat abattoirs, on industry communications.
  • Creation of associate memberships for producers and interested parties to build a collaborative culture within the industry.

Our goal is to work in conjunction with other meat industry associations to develop markets through a value chain approach and foster public education of B.C. produced and processed meat products. In addition, our association is working to liaise with government on important member issues and bring information, technology, and other services to our processors and producers. We will be holding annual meetings that we welcome you to attend as the networking and coming together as a group will be an important part of building a strong and resilient meat industry.

Our Board of Directors is made up of abattoirs from around the province who plan and guide association activities. This years directors include Bonnie Windsor (Johnston’s), Dave Fernie (Rodear Meats), Richard Yntema (Valleywide Meats), Karl Rainer (Rainer’s Custom Meats), Mike Noullett (Kawano Farms). A government liaison committee was also formed, with each of the five meat sectors represented.

The association plans to obtain funding to retain a part time coordinator to build and maintain communications such as a newsletter and website, attend trade shows, manage projects and liaise with processors and producers, governments and other industry associations to better serve our members.

The BC Association of Abattoirs welcomes new abattoir members as well as producer members and general associate members who have an interest in networking with, and supporting the industry.

For membership information, or to request an electronic copy of the Strategic Plan, please contact Jerri-Lynne Cameron at bcaacameron@gmail.com or call 250-319-2885.

Dave Fernie
Bonnie Windsor

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