FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The NDP PEI is raising concerns over the future of the beef plant in PEI. In spite of cuts in Provincial Government funding James Rodd, Leader and Agiculture Critic, believes that the beef plant can survive but says that it will take better marketing and organization from the Board of Directors.
“We have the only Federally Inspected beef plant east of Montreal,” says Rodd “But it is losing money because it is in a very competitive market.” That market, continues Rodd, is the ‘Grain-fed cattle’ market.
Rodd states that a move to niche markets would make the beef plant far more viable. “There is a growing opportunity for ‘Grass-fed cattle’. It is a market that PEI could and should be a major player in.”
Rodd cited benefits to the consumer of grass-fed cattle
“There is a big enough market from the health-conscious consumer in eastern Canada and the North Eastern USA.” states Rodd, adding “If you look at grass fed cattle – it can have up to half the fat content of grain fed and is also lower in cholesterol and higher in Omega 3 fatty acids.”
Rodd included that hormone free and antibiotic free cattle that would also benefit the beef plant because it could become a leader in that market.
The NDP PEI note that PEI beef already has a great and growing reputation but in order to move to the next level it will require people with expertise in the industry.
“In order to succeed” continued Rodd “the beef plant would need board leadership with experience in the beef industry. Currently, we have a government appointed expert in pots and pans, and we wonder why the plant isn’t more succesful. If the provincial government showed commitment and willingness to promoting the beef plant and marketing, new markets could be cornered. Dollars alone are simply not enough. We also need a vision.”
James Rodd, Leader and Agriculture and Rural