August 2011 News Letter

VOL 2 ISSUE 1. INSIDE THIS ISSUE: BC Meat Inspection, System review, Strategic Plan, Projects for 2011, and Industry Liaison

Appointment of Industry Communications Manager for BC Association of Abattoirs

The strategic plan for the BC Association of Abattoirs was finalized September 15, 2010 and was distributed to members. If you have not received your copy, or would like to request a copy, please contact the BC Association of Abattoirs office. We are pleased to announce that the BC Association of Abattoirs has hired Andrea White to be their new Industry Communications Manager to implement the recommendations of the strategic plan and oversee the operations of the Association. Andrea has an M.Sc. In Food Science and is a Professional Agrologist. She has worked in Research & Development and Quality Assurance in the value added meat industry and has worked for several years with Canada Safeway in retail Consumer Brands Product Development & Regulatory Affairs. Her experience both in the processing environment and retail product branding will be a great asset to our organization.

B.C. Meat Inspection System Review

AS you may be aware, and have no doubt seen in the news lately, the B.C. Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control have reviewed and are proposing changes to the B.C. Meat Inspection System. For many years, the Federal Government has provided inspection services for the provincially licensed meat facilities. The CFIA has indicated that it intends to pull out its federal inspectors from the provincially licensed plants by January 2014. To this end, the B.C. government is conducting a review of its programs; there are currently two proposed systems on the table. One system retains inspection services by provincial inspectors; the other places the onus of inspection onto the processors and relies on 3rd party auditing.

The Review has involved a consultation process where the industry operators have provided strong opposition to removing the inspection services; however, it seems that the government staff are proceeding in this direction, despite opposition from producers, processors, and inspectors.

The issue has now been brought to light in the media and the BC Association of Abattoirs will be able to provide its position in a clear and open manner.

Strategic Plan

The strategic plan for the BC Association of Abattoirs was completed in September 2010 and now that we have dedicated staff, we are able to start implementing the action plans outlined in the Strategic Plan.

If you have not received your copy of the Strategic Plan, or would like to request one, please download a .PDF version by clicking this link, or contact Andrea White at andrea.l.white (at) mac.com. Priorities for the latter half of 2011 will be focused on Government Liaison particularly with respect to the proposed changes to the provincial inspection system. In addition, the Association will develop and launch some of its marketing tools such as a website and marketing displays that can be utilize at trade shows and public events to create awareness of our organization. The website will include contact and membership information, an interactive map with all of the Provincially Inspected Abattoirs, an outline of the projects we are working on as well as links to other organization, government assistance and industry stakeholders that producers and processors would find useful.

BC Association of Abattoirs Projects 2011


The BC Association of Abattoirs has partnered with the BC Cattlemen’s Association as co-applicants to in a project with the Investment Agriculture Foundation (IAF). This project was approved by the IAF and work is set to start this month, with the additional $45,000 required being contributed by Net Shift Media.

Objectives of the project are to develop a program to streamline the traceability of B.C. meat , to ensure consistent product quality and foster continuous improvement of product attributes in line with consumer demand.

Producers desire to implement environmentally sustainable production practices to enhance product quality attributes such as omega 3 fatty acids, CLA levels, tenderness, carcass yield, etc. In conjunction with the National BIX System, the B.C. Carcass Tracking Program will provide a streamlined approach that will provide an information sharing system between processors, producers and consumers, and provide a carcass quality standards for B.C. finished beef products that will eventually enable utilization by the whole meat industry.


BC Association of Abattoirs mandate is to help support the provincial Abattoirs to increase their capacity for production and processing. At present, it is difficult for a provincial establishment to gain access to national retail food chains and food service. The BCAA aims to improve this barrier by developing an auditing & quality standards program that would allow the provincially inspected Abattoirs to access markets normally accessible only to federally inspected and federal HACCP approved facilities. This will be a multi year project involving the BCAA, Corporate Retail, Food Service to establish relationships with those willing to market locally produced and processed meat. An application to the Investment Agriculture Foundation is underway to fund this project.


Wouldn’t it be great for Chefs to be able to utilize the whole carcass rather than ordering particular cuts and the producer having to figure out what to do with the remainder? We are developing a cost per serving “calculator” for chefs and food service to use that will calculate the cost per serving of various meat cuts by cutting up the whole carcass in different ways. We plan to develop a very easy-to-use computer program that the BC Association of Abattoirs would be able to provide to restaurants & food service to make these calculations. This program will also enable the producers and processors to track their business and have more effective advance planning in their operations.

We would do a pilot program with a few chefs across BC, then make available to chefs, restaurants and food service organizations across Canada. The BC Association of Abattoirs plans to submit an application to the Ranching Task Force for this project by August 31, 2011.

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