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Stronach proposes 10,000-sq-ft beef processing facility in Prince Edward County

– Adena Farms photo

SEPT 4 – Update: the municipality noted this afternoon that the proposal on the agenda was updated to be for a 10,000 square foot beef processing facility, not a 10,000 acre beef operation. Incorrect information appeared on an earlier agenda.

SEPT 3 – The municipality’s agricultural advisory committee is expected to hear a proposal Wednesday night from 86-year-old billionaire Frank Stronach.

The global auto-parts giant notes in his letter to Planner Paul Walsh, he is looking forward to visiting the County as he has done a few times over the years.

Frank Stronach

“My son Andrew has accumulated a few thousand acres of farmland in your lovely county and he really enjoys living there,” said Stronach in his letter.

Stonach is the founder of Magna International, one of the largest suppliers of automotive systems and technologies. He explains he started as a one-man operation in a small, rented garage in the 1950s and built a global company of 175,000 employees with annual revenues of $50 billion and factories in 30 countries around the world.

“However, I have also always been a farmer,” said Stronach, noting his horse farms north of Toronto, in Kentucky and Florida, since the 1960s.

“I decided to get into agricultural business and made a commitment to produce healthy, all-natural foods without chemicals,” he continues in his letter. “Since then, I have accumulated approximately 100,000 acres in the Ocala area of Florida, which is a little north of Orlando.”

With a princple to avoid pain and stress on animals, Stronach notes engaging leading animal rights activist Mary Temple Grandin “and incorporating her system into one of the most advanced cattle processing plants in North America, at Florida… All our cattle are raised with no antibiotics, no hormones, no GMO, no chemicals and graze freely on open pastures.”

Stronach seeks to build a similar, but smaller state-of-the-art processing facility in the County.

Stronach properties (see partial map with correction below)

“I propose working together with local farmers in a mutually-beneficial arrangement where farmers would grow organic cattle for us. Naturally we cannot have purely grass-fed cattle, but because hay is dried grass, they would be grass and hay fed,” said Stronach. “We would also have a second line of cattle that are grass and hay fed, and then finished with organic grain.”

He states he envisions to make a commitment to pay five to 10 per cent more per pound than the market price for conventionally-raised cattle.

“We are currently in the planning process and will open our first organic supermarket and restaurant some time toward the end of this year,” he states. “Any of the farmers who participate in our operation would get another payment of approximately five per cent related to the net meat sales, but we would fine-tune that arrangement over time.”

He would also like to see a system to assis local farmers to purchase organic grain more economically.

“I would like to explore with you whether or not the County and your local farmers would be supportive of building a world-class meat processing plant,” he states. “I realize we would also require provincial permits, but I would only go to a place where I know I am welcome and where local farmers would see a benefit to having access to a processing plant.”

Stronach’s deputation is to be heard Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. during the agricultural advisory committee meeting at Shire Hall.

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  1. SS says:

    Actually, not a vegan, and for that matter, less of a vegetarian than Mr. Stronach says he is, according to other articles written about him :-). We love steak, roasts, burgers, and sausages, and buy them locally in the County from non-chain stores, and we always try to find out where the meat came from.

    Not fond of potholes (repaired or not), which I have heard is a concern shared by many in the County. If this operation is as good an idea as I think it might be, I would prefer to see it funded, owned and operated by County people, as well as employing and serving County people.

  2. BARNEY RUBBLE says:

    HEY SS : YOU SEEM TO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MEAT EATERS, YOU SOME VEGAN TERRORIST ?? WE LIKE RED MEAT IN THE COUNTY AND BAR-B-Q SEASON WOULD LOVE THEM SIRLOIN STEERS

  3. Fred says:

    Could this not be an advantage to our high end restaurants?

  4. SS says:

    Here is the link to the feasibility study done by Lillooet, BC that was referred to in Comment #51:

    https://www.lillooetagricultureandfood.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Abattoir-Feasibility-Final-Report-Nov-2018.pdf

  5. SS says:

    Apologies to the site moderator — I am new to the site and did not realize that there are sometimes delays in the posting of comments, so I probably have been posting too many things too quickly :-). The post that you approved thus far actually refers to a report whose link is in one of the preceding posts that is still awaiting approval by the moderator. Hope you can sort out what I intended, and again, sorry for the inconvenience.

  6. SS says:

    There is a community in BC that seems to have many of the same attributes as PEC: http://www.lillooetbc.ca/Visit-Lillooet.aspx

    It is unclear as to the extent of the present Abbatoir availability in Lillooet, but they did this feasibility study during the past year:

    https://www.lillooetagricultureandfood.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Abattoir-Feasibility-Final-Report-Nov-2018.pdf

    The Exec summary of this says the following:

    “The Lillooet Agriculture Food Society(LAFS) is a non-profit group formed to promote agriculture economic development in Lillooet.

    LAFS is leading an initiative to investigate the feasibility of an abattoir in the Lillooet region.

    A provincially inspected Class A abattoir,providing meat processing and cut and wrap services for local ranchers,is an avenue to expand market access, create local jobs, andincrease economic viability in the region.

    There are no stand-alone butcher shops in the area, so it is important that the abattoir also perform cut, wrap and further processing services that customers demand.”

  7. SS says:

    The “Employment and Opportunities” section on pg. 40 explains that at startup, the operation will generate 1.8 Full Time Equivalent jobs.

    There are no actual full time jobs — per the table on pg. 40, there are these jobs:

    – part-time slaughter persons
    – part-time scheduling and customer outreach
    – part-time Cut & Wrap
    – part-time Game cutting person
    – part-time Delivery person

    The maximum hours listed in the table is 1 day out of 5 for half the year plus 2 days out of 5 for half the year, for the part time slaughter, and the cut and wrap positions.

    ——————-

    Here is a link to the expected full time salary for a meat cutter:

    https://neuvoo.ca/salary/?job=Meat%20Cutter

    “The average Meat Cutter salary in Canada is $33,150 per year or $17 per hour. Entry level positions start at $24,375 per year while most experienced workers make up to $42,705 per year. “

  8. SS says:

    On the topic of jobs, here is some additional reference material. I tried to source info for Ontario, but there did not seem to be much available.

    There is a community in BC that seems to have many of the same attributes as PEC: http://www.lillooetbc.ca/Visit-Lillooet.aspx

    It is unclear as to the extent of the present Abbatoir availability in Lillooet, but they did this feasibility study during the past year:

    https://www.lillooetagricultureandfood.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Abattoir-Feasibility-Final-Report-Nov-2018.pdf

    The Exec summary of this says the following:

    “The Lillooet Agriculture Food Society(LAFS) is a non-profit group formed to promote agriculture economic development in Lillooet.

    LAFS is leading an initiative to investigate the feasibility of an abattoir in the Lillooet region.

    A provincially inspected Class A abattoir,providing meat processing and cut and wrap services for local ranchers,is an avenue to expand market access, create local jobs, andincrease economic viability in the region.

    There are no stand-alone butcher shops in the area, so it is important that the abattoir also perform cut, wrap and further processing services that customers demand.”

    ————-

    The “Employment and Opportunities” section on pg. 40 explains that at startup, the operation will generate 1.8 Full Time Equivalent jobs.

    There are no actual full time jobs — per the table on pg. 40, there are these jobs:

    – part-time slaughter persons
    – part-time scheduling and customer outreach
    – part-time Cut & Wrap
    – part-time Game cutting person
    – part-time Delivery person

    The maximum hours listed in the table is 1 day out of 5 for half the year plus 2 days out of 5 for half the year, for the part time slaughter, and the cut and wrap positions.

    ——————-

    Here is a link to the expected full time salary for a meat cutter:

    https://neuvoo.ca/salary/?job=Meat%20Cutter

    “The average Meat Cutter salary in Canada is $33,150 per year or $17 per hour. Entry level positions start at $24,375 per year while most experienced workers make up to $42,705 per year. “

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