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Where’s the beef?
According to BC Cattlemen’s Association President Kevin Boon, there’s still more than enough to go around despite a number of meat processing plants across Canada that have been impacted due to COVID-19.
Some Prince George stores have even put a limit on how much hamburger you can purchase at one time.
Boon told Vista Radio there is a misconception when it comes to the issue.
“There is no shortage of beef that’s not part of the problem, we’ve got lots of beef it’s just a matter of how do we get it to the producer because the human factor of those processing plants has created this issue where we can get it processed to get to them.”
“It kind of compounds the situation for us where we have a lot of product and a lot of cattle that are ready to go to market, that we need to get to market and we can’t.”
Boon adds when the product isn’t reaching the consumer, it makes the problem double-sided.
“The packing plants that we depend on are in Alberta and so we are working closely with the other cattle organizations across Canada and in Alberta to do what we can to try and do what we can to help that process.”
“Cargill with that shutdown that they took there has cleared up quite a few of their cases we do see some limited capacity going through but the only thing that we can do is try to work hard to get those processing facilities up and running.”
Boon states supporting local suppliers is more important than ever.
“These guys are going to be working at full capacity and the thing is they’ve got lots of supply of beef that they can put through they just haven’t gotten the capacity at those plants to do more than they can but those are the guys to go to first because they are the ones that I would encourage local suppliers to go and try.”
“This is in a lot of ways a major boost for them and for people to understand that they’ve got a good healthy supply of local products at their fingertips now that they should be looking at on a regular basis.”
Alan McLeod is the Owner of Chilako Meats near Prince George who says they are doing well and have not had to limit the number of products customers can buy at once.
“We’re doing freezer packs, they are not big freezer packs and we’re leaving it open as we are not at the point where we have to limit anything just yet.”
“We’re holding our own here as far as product, we do most of our buying locally within BC. So far, we have been doing OK.”
McLeod isn’t too concerned about getting stock just yet as there are a lot of beef and pork products in BC.
“If our local farmers are able to supply us with beef, pork, and chicken we can then keep a limited supply and keep our customers happy and at this point, with all the closures that have been happening it will have a little bit of an impact but for us as a small business, we don’t need a lot to keep going.”