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October 27, 2017 9:56 pm

Airport Hopes Beef Processing Proposal Will Fly

Monday, July 18, 2016 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C.- News last week that Prince George is being considered for a beef processing plant, is music to the ears of Prince George Airport Authority CEO and President John Gibson.The provincial and federal governments announced last week  they are contributing $144,000 to the BC Cattlemen’s Association (BCCA) to develop a business plan to determine the viability of such an endeavour. ( see previous story).”We’ve been doing some work with various interests in China, including trade companies,  and they say  one of the biggest markets we ( YXS) should be targeting is  food production.”

Gibson says the Airport has been working with the BC Cattlemen’s Association for about a year now as beef and seafood were identified as target  production opportunities “There is a chance right now for BC Cattlemen’s to develop a bit more detailed plan to  have a production facility in the Prince George region.”  The Cattlemen’s Association estimates  a beef production plan  in this region could  provide  a quarter of a billion dollars  a year  in sales and  provide up to 800 jobs.

Such a production facility would  fit well with the  Prince George Airport’s  plan  to  develop cargo shipments to  Asia ” Not all the beef production would be international beef, much of it would be for domestic consumption” says Gibson “but  it’s the  type of product,  high end cuts of beef,  are really desired  in China and in high demand.  It’s the fresh component  that we would be interested in shipping  overseas.”

Gibson says initial studies  show the  beef processing plant would be smaller until  the  number  of livestock in the region ramps up  “It’s  not that there would be a flight  going ( to China) everyday,  it would be an anchor part of  production that would bring aircraft to the region, and allow us to build up  on  other sources of food, perishables,  or whatever.”

Gibson says there are already  Chinese cargo flights that  fly over Prince George on a daily basis  “Probably ten a day”  as different carriers  head on to  US markets.  He says  they would target some of the carriers that already pass overhead, “If they (BC Cattlemen’s Association) can  get regular production then the carriers can build it into their schedule.   If it’s a large amount of  once a month, it would probably be a charter of a special aircraft.”  Gibson  says  it would be preferable to land one of the flights  that already  fly over  P.G.  “The pricing to land an aircraft that is  already  flying right past  you  is  less expensive, and would not require a full plane load  for them to stop in Prince George.”

There is still a lot of work to do,  so it would be  another year or two down the road.  Gibson says  in the meantime,  the Airport continues to work with some Chinese interests on  perishable food items “That’s a key  component of getting aircraft to come in here.   So we’ve got some other   Chinese interests coming here next month.   The biggest thing is tying the cargo to the buyers in China and the  distribution  so that’s why the Chinese component is so important.  We know all the shippers on this side  that’s not the  issue,  we need to get the buyers and the supply chain  folks, that’s the only missing link right now.”



This is definitely good news for both the region and the airport both of which have the potential to increase dollars into the local economy giving ranchers and farmers another outlet for their goods and generate revenue for the airport something of which I have been and still am a huge supporter of.

There are those that will not like it nor will ever support it that is their right but I for one would love to see this region grow even more

    Who says there is even a market in China for our beef? Where in this article does it even mention what market “desperately” wants / needs our beef? This would be part of the feasibility study which will find there is no overseas market… stop dreaming and come on back to reality!!!

I agree with you.

Maybe Pat Bell will take on this assignment.

    More likely Pat would want to export some of his wine to China.

      And why not? Steak and wine – a perfect combination!

The original Government news release on this meat processing plant stated that their would be approx. 180 full time equivalent jobs in the plant, and approx. 600 spin off jobs.

I suspect some of the so called spin off jobs already exist in the cattle industry getting cattle to the processing plants in Alberta.

In any event this is a feasibility study, that has to be fleshed out to see if in fact it makes sense.

Alberta already process’s cattle from this area, and no doubt exports it to China, etc; so in effect we will be duplicating what they do, only on a smaller scale.

Can we do it more competitively than the processing plants in Alberta?? That is the 64 million dollar question. When you look at the economies of scale you would have to say no.

Too bad it’s not a pork processing facility that is being “proposed” then we can literally say this is all going to happen when “pigs fly”!!!

The cycle continues, just like every other election over the past 16 years, 4 years ago it was LNG and billions in royalties to fill up a Prosperity Fund, and the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs… then we get *crickets*.

Now off to the next pre-election “pie (beef) in the sky dream”, sorry for splashing water on the dream folks, but you all need a dose of reality. Fool me once same on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me three times call me the fool.

    Yeahhh the Chinese like pork better than beef, basically because it’s cheaper they say

    Why did an 88 year old association need $144,000 of taxpayer money to do this study? They have estimates for spin-off jobs but can’t identify growth potential or the feasibility of expanding? Clark and company buying votes.

This would be good for the economy.
I can’t see the meat processing plant using airplanes to transport the meat.
It is trucked now I somehow can’t see that changing.

Gibson still seems to be living is is little imaginary world.
I don’t see all those planes from the orient circling town that he does.
The ones I see are at 30+ thousand feet and heading to where they normally head
and not one has landed yet..
but hey dream on…one day one might actually land.

    How does one truck to China?

      How does John Gibson and you assume there is even a market (demand) for our beef in China?

      Unlike you, J.Galt, he is in the business of knowing such things. I assume you are not in that business.

      However, if you were to show a little interest in finding out for yourself, you would know that Canada’s beef exports have grown considerably so that it is now over 10% of the market. What was required was to show China that we could produce quality and reliable products.

      Read for yourself from 3 ½ years ago:


      and this from the USA meat export federation concerned about the impact of Canada’s agreement on the USA market share.


      Take a car ferry.

      Mind if we wait a couple of years to find out through the Feasibility Study that this is the case rather than accepting your 1 hour research on China’s market conditions for our beef gopg? After all, is that not what a Feasibility Study is to partly accomplish?

      Obviously you do not know how to do research. It takes less than a couple of minutes to find it and a couple of minutes to read and a couple to post.

      I would not take that long. To busy doing real research to write reports that pay money for knowing ho to do it.


      “What was required was to show China that we could produce quality and reliable products.”

      LOL that made laugh. I’d like to see that be requirement of products coming from them. One can dream…

      We know that there is a market for meat products in China and we have an agreement with China to sell to them.

      We also know, as I assume Gibson knows, that the number of abattoirs that are approved for sale to China has gone from 0 to 6+. One is in Alberta, and I think the rest are in Eastern Canada.

      The study, as I understand it is whether one could work in BC, specifically this part of BC. There is no question that there is a market.

      Please read a bit more carefully. That is one of the requirements of a good researcher.


      they are probably flown from Vancouver where those mysterious planes actually land, or frozen and shipped.

Sounds like another deal where the foreigner, (Chinese, in this case), gets the choice cuts, and we’re left with the soup bones and hamburger. Both of which will undoubtedly rise in price to help cover what we lose trying to capture another soon-to-be glutted market abroad.

    Prices will rise? Have you seen the price of beef steaks lately? Prices have risen.

    Build a wall… build a wall … shut down trade ….

    Oh no, wait. According to Trump we have stupid negotiators. He is the best negotiator in the world. He is going to fix everything.

    I guess he will make an agreement and then when he figures he has paid enough for the product, he will stop paying when 80% of the agreed price has been paid.

    It is called “the art of the deal” according to Trump. If it does not work, he’ll call in the Navy to blockade the foreign harbour involved.

    That is the “make America great again” part of the plan.

      I see there are lots of people on here who wish they had a vote in the USA election … ;-)

    Nothing better than a positive outlook on life when opportunities are beckoning!

      As I recall we all had a positive outlook when the “dreamers” built the international arrivals section onto the airport more than a decade ago. Now I see it sitting there empty every time I am waiting for my luggage, or waiting to pick someone up.

      At some point we have to call out those pie-in-the-sky dreams as waste of money delusions, lets call it a day and get a government in that will focus on kick-starting our mainstream backbone resources again.

Here is a link to an article that you all may find informative.

The Real Cattle Class: Cows Fly to China on 747.


Let’s do nothing, nothing at all. Now are you happy!!!!!!!!

Anyhow China is on the verge of collapsing. Money is leaving and next to no private investing in China by their own people.

    “Anyhow China is on the verge of collapsing.”

    Gee, I hope not! Where am I going to get “stuff” from if China collapses? All the dollar stores will have to change their logo
    to Ten Dollar Store.

From the German Industry and Chamber of Commerce in Japan. (Canada also has a chamber of Commerce office in Japan)

This was written 6 years ago. I doubt much has changed.

The demand: “Japan is one of the most important import markets for meat in the world. In 2008, meat worth ¥879 billion was imported.
“With a total import of 2.3 million tons Japan ranked number one in pork imports and second in the import of beef, as well as chicken meat. The country does not have sufficient farmland, so a meat import rate of almost 40 per cent (based on amount) will not change in the long run.”

The quality and competing countries for the market: “Due to a scandal concerning imported food from the People´s Republic of China, with ¥17.5 billion and 282.000 tons (import share 11.56 per cent), the market for sausages was relatively weak in 2008. However, German sausages from traditional, high-quality producers can hope for good sales chances on the Japanese market. Producers from Italy and Spain created huge recognition value for their products in the Japanese premium segment.”

The subsidies countries will provide in order to gain access to a market, keep the access, or expand the access: “This survey was supported by the German Federal ministry for Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) as part of its export promotion projects and is therefore available for free to players of the agriculture and food sector, who are registered in Germany.

I do not see that BC is acting differently than any other country or region that wishes to promote business for their community.

Just keep dreaming. Just keep dreaming.

(sung to the tune of Dory’s “Just keep swimming”.

If we listen to the naysayers, nothing will ever be done.
If we wait until there is a demand, that will mean that someone else has already established a market.
Why can’t we be at the forefront?
If you never try, it is guaranteed that you will never get there.

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