VICTORIA – South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP) is pleased to announce they have received $12,500 in funding to commission a feasibility study for a local abattoir. The abattoir would be used by meat producers in the region.
This study is funded in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Government of British Columbia through programs delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.
After consulting with local agriculture-sector stakeholders, SIPP investigated the region’s currently available facilities for livestock processing, as there is a growing demand for locally and ethically sourced meat and wide interest for local producers to have their livestock processed within the region.
In 2004, provincial regulations around slaughterhouse licensing were severely tightened after bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease elevated public health concerns. Today, as we face an unprecedented global health concern crisis with COVID-19, the importance of local food supply chains is becoming even more evident. The vast majority of meat is imported to the island, and most locally raised livestock are transported out of the region to be processed. This creates undue stress on the animals and increases costs and logistics to the local producers. Processing livestock locally would also reduce the environmental impact of transport out of the region and would generate local jobs and economic activity.
“We often buy meat from outside our region due to cost savings from highly concentratedindustrial farming, but having a local abattoir could help change that,” said Emilie de Rosenroll, CEO, SIPP. “Not only will it help farmers, it will benefit consumers who want to buy higher quality local products too.”
A March 2020 report by the Government of BC’s Emerging Economy Task Force explores how business and society will change in the coming years, and highlights the growing need for more climate friendly and enhanced food security systems that provide sustained investment and employment.
SIPP has commissioned Greenchain Consulting to undertake the abattoir feasibility study.
“Residents of the CRD have always supported their farmers, but with recent worldwide events there is now even more focus to buy local. Investing in local infrastructure for the agricultural community, such as regional abattoirs, will help increase local food production. CRD residents know this strengthens food security, increases local jobs and improves the local economy,” said Darren Stott, President, Greenchain Consulting.