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October 27, 2017 9:58 pm

PG Eyed as Beef Processing and Export Centre

Friday, July 15, 2016 @ 2:28 PM

Prince George, B.C. – A new federally inspected beef processing plant is in the works for Prince George.

Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond at today's announcement at the Bar K Ranch - photo 250News

Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond at today’s announcement at the Bar K Ranch – photo 250News

The provincial and governments announced today they will be contributing $144,000 in funding to the BC Cattlemen’s Association (BCCA) to develop a business plan to determine the viability of such an endeavour.

According to the federal government, the study will “identify supply-chain and investment partners, and develop business models for the ownership and operation of the plant.”

The BCCA will also contribute $16,000 towards the plan which it says “will incorporate a marketing and sales strategy, defined production and operations requirements, as well as financial, human resource and contingency plans.”

The plan will support previous BCCA research which predicted a federally inspected plant could provide a quarter of a billion dollars in annual beef and by-product sales and up to 800 jobs.

“It (Prince George) is an untapped market for B.C.,” says Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris. “I can’t see the point in shipping our beef to Alberta or to the United States to be processed when we’ve got the capability of doing it here.”

Kevin Boon, general manager of the BCCA, agrees.

“This is where Prince George really shines because we have a lot of grain and forage production in the Nechako/Vanderhoof area. We also have a lot of grain produced in the Peace that’s close enough. Our previous studies have shown that within a 700 km radius it’s more economical to bring a plant to Prince George than it is to try and get cattle to Alberta for processing.”

Both governments say the plant could increase local food supply security and also capitalize on Prince George’s potential as an export centre.

“It’s a hub for transportation. We can go east, west, north and south. And that is key in anything for distribution.” says Boon.

Morris adds there’s also the chance to export by air. “There’s the opportunity to ship the higher end products right away, fresh to wherever the market demands. I think we’ll see that.

Once the business plan is complete, he hopes government will be making another announcement “within a year.”

“Once we analyze all the different elements of it. And I know there’s people willing to build a plant already. So we just have to make sure we get all the other pieces put together.”




Agreed that this has been a need for years, perhaps decades… so why some action finally now? Oh right, there is an election coming. Still the Christy Clark Liberals need to replace that massive LNG dream with something, I guess a possible meat processing plant will do.

How about taking a strategic approach and increase funding and awareness for 4-H clubs, farmers markets, and country fairs through out the area, i.e. Vanderhoof and points west, Prince George, and north eastern BC?

    Perhaps decades? …. how about close to 40 decades….??!!!

    WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 1987 Front page article PGC

    $50-MILLION PLANT – Site choice expected soon

    “A location for the proposed $50- million meat processing plant for the Central Interior should be known early next month, Vanderhoof mayor Len Fox said today.

    A West German firm, with unidentified investors from the Vanderhoof area, has tentatively agreed to finance a cattle and hog processing plant employing nearly 600 workers. CONSTRUCTION IS EXPECTD TO BEGIN THIS SUMMER.

    The meat plant proposal was spawned by the Village of Vanderhoof in an economic development strategy unveiled last year.

    Fox said the West German-based firm, through Vanderhoof contacts, picked up the idea and talks have been going on for the past five months. “Through our MLA (Forests Minister Jack Kempf) we’ve been able to achieve the fast track.” Fox said.

    Premier Bill Vander Zalm met with some of the German interests during his European tour and announced the meat plant proposal for the Prince George or Vanderhoof.”
    So, 4 decades of various parties in power, we get to rewrite history.

    Well, actually not quite yet. We are not yet as close as we seem to be then.

    So what happened to that proposal. What stopped it and what has changed to make another proposal successful?????


      K what happened was when the foundation was poured the concrete was not correct and facing in the wrong direction THEN the German cow company was bought out by another company and because the new company’s main product was bratwurst the whole project was put on hold. A complete redesign became necessary to handle the new product. Germans being somewhat perfectionists the design process took a while.

    Good plan with a little luck the regions farmers markets could sell two or even three cows over the 6 months they are open. Will have to bring in a ndp grey beard to consult on how to employ 800 people to process 3 cows.

I wonder how many bleeding hearts are going to be up in arms over this announcement?


Very exciting! Let’s hope this becomes reality. Diversify the economy and provide much needed jobs.

    I am counting on it to provide much needed local beef.

    Perhaps we can market PG beef to the Japanese to provide an alternate for Kobe Beef.

    The jobs will be automated soon enough.


JGalt, the government could announce Free Education and Free Daycare for every citizen of BC, and you would still find a way to make a negative comment about it.
It seems that with you if it’s not the dippers doing it, or announcing it it’s crap.
I would suggest that you and all of your previous aliases get over yourselves, and realize that good initiatives and good ideas are to be praised and applauded and that bad ideas and bad initiatives are to be ridiculed regardless of which political party proposes them.
Besides, after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in the last election, do you really think the dippers have any hope of winning the next one?

    Three years ago Oil and Gas prices had not tanked worldwide, back then this Christy Clark government was so pro-fossil fuel, they delegated authority of Agricultural Land Reserves (ALR) to the BC Oil & Gas Commission.

    www .bcogc.ca/node/5759/download

    Now that fossil fuels have tanked and LNG is going no where, the Christy Clark government does a 180 and is now promoting agriculture for the first time in its 16 years in government… hip hip hooray, better late than never I suppose.

Will we get carbon credits? I mean for every bovine killed think.how much carbon won’t be produced if we waited for it to die of natural causes.

    offset by the BBQ

    You realize of course that farming is a renewable resource and any negative/positive impacts on the environment will continue based on the steady state size of the industry as well as improvements in effectiveness with respect to environmental degradation.

      It was a joke. If you want something to be accepted these days you have to make it carbon friendly then its PC.

      Remember, if one has to explain it afterwards, it really is not a very good joke … :-)

Christy’s LNG dream has now turned into a pile of manure and its starting to smell like an election is just around the corner. Again everyone bring your hard hat and your rubber boots on and head down to the local job fair because we must be ready. Oh I forgot we can use the apps.from the LNG job fair if they are not already deleted.

“And I know there’s people willing to build a plant already”

40 years ago there were some. They must have died off before the dream was realized.

I remember the one we had back in the fifties.

    How far were they shipping? What region were the animals coming from?

    Wasn’t that plant around where the Fraser Bridge is now? Seems they processed a lot of meat through there.

The same front page from 1987 had this headline


The major obstacle to the success of Prince George is the city’s attitude, according to a $25,000 economic development strategy released this morning.

This is important because “ultimately our successes or failures in economic development have a dramatic effect on the man in the street. He has his job here, his house is here.” said Dale McMann. manager of the Prince George Region Development Corporation, which commissioned the report.

“There is a deep-rooted sense of pessimism and a tendency to be preoccupied with perceived deficiencies in the physical surroundings and in community leaders and institutions. . .in our opinion the city is much too hard on itself.” says the report by Overseas Canadian Project Management and Planning Inc.

To cure the pessimism it would take “two or three winners in this town, new projects or companies, which would indicate to people here people outside the community have confidence in Prince George.” McMann said.

The pessimism “may be a result of how we lived for so long. We were a high-flying city.” said Mayor John Backhouse. “The impact of the recession took quite a while to arrive. But when it did. we couldn’t climb out of it. There’s a multi-faceted cause and effect.”

Was the assessment at the time right? Were there other structural reasons?

Has anything changed now that we have a University, a Cancer Centre, a box store development, etc.? Are we still our own worst enemy? Are there structural reasons that remain?

Is this site an example of pessimism? Optimism? Balanced views???

    Nothing says optimism more than the Airport Runway Expansion, Global Logistics Village, and Jet Fuel Storage Facility. However now that all those millions have been spent / invested, where is the return? Where are all those huge international cargo jets, they keep flying high over head, but are not landing here!

    A good example of optimism verse “reality”. Keep buying into those false Lib-Con dreams everyone, myself, I am more of a realist because there is a long 40 year history of big dreams going bust in PG… up next is a 40 year old, still in waiting, beef processing plant.

    Maybe its time everyone woke up and smelled the coffee!

      It is not so much about smelling coffee but all about a global lack of experts who could smell the coming of the worst global downturn (in 2008) since the Great Depression. If there are any such olfactory super humans they should have come forward, make millions and save us from the 2008 disaster!

      Ask your local MP about the airport project. He was a major lobbyist on the pipe dream project. Now ask him why this dream will never come to fruition.

“Overseas Canadian Project Management and Planning Inc.”

Does this company still exist? Did it morph into another company?

I can’t find anything in a one minute search. Maybe someone in that business knows.

Wow, $144,000 for development and research into a business plan!

I worked some time in consultation and wrote many business plans for local/non-local businesses and never once charged or needed that much. That is insane! Sure there is alot of research, etc. but wow!

    I tell you why the research is required. IPG sat on its asses for over a decade. They should have all the info required if they had done their job, especially since there was interest in 1987.

    Then again, maybe they did their research and determined that this was not viable. If that is the case, where are the people who are now sitting in City Hall doing the same job?

The timing of this announcement is suspect.

The Government news release states that there would be 180 new full-time-equivalent jobs with the plant and about 62-0 spinoff jobs. Hmmmm..

The logistics of having cattle processed in Alberta and the product shipped around the world in probably the most cost effective.

The big question is. Who would build and run this plant. The big meat processors in Alberta would have little incentive to open up a small plant in the interior.

Canadian beef cattle exports in 2006. USA 80.9%, Hong Kong 4.2%, Mexico 10.9% Other 4.0%. So you can see that we are no closer to the market than Alberta.

Canada has 1.4% of the world’s cattle at 14.8 million head, India has 280.5 million, Brazil 164.9 million China 140.7 million and the USA 97.1 Million. There are many more countries with a lot more cattle than Canada. This is a highly competitive business.

Canadian beef consumption is 21.7 kg or 47.8 lbs per year. So with the small population in the interior we would be hard pressed to be able to consume much of what would be produced.

Meat packing plants (Slaughter houses) have been closing in Canada for a number of years. Huge processing plants in Alberta, and Nebraska is where the action is. Once you have the economies of scale, you can then compete on the world market. A small plant in Prince George would not be able to compete.

I wouldn’t hold by breath on this one.

    Someone is going to make $144,000 to come to the same conclusion as you but they won’t announce it until 10 May 2017.

      If someone reaches the same conclusion, they have not done their work!!!

      Palopu’s figures are from 2006 NOT 2015!!

      Palopu’s figures are all over the place since he does not differentiate between cattle and beef – two different things.

      Palopu does not include the domestic market! Only 36% of domestic slaughter is exported. The rest is slaughtered in Canada for local distribution.

      The US exports now take 10% less of the export market than 11 years ago.

      Canada is one of the largest exporters of red meat and livestock in the world. More than 40 per cent of Canadian cattle and beef production must be exported.

      Here are the statistics for 2015, 11 years after 2006! From cattle.ca/resources/industry-stats.

      Read it for yourselves if you are interested. Relying on Palopu does not cut it.

These MLA’s need to find the closest implement dealer and purchase a manure spreader because they are going to need it if they keep spreading the same BS around. The only concern they have is to stay elected and nothing else. Only a fool would believe what they are telling us.

Cue the nay sayers.
Maybe this time it will work, did you ever think of that?
Why would a luminary like Bond go out on a limb to announce a study?
Why would Mr. Morris put his name behind it?
Why would a good guy like Kevin Boon put his name behind it?

I know, they are politicians, and politicians tell us what they think we want to hear, but why not now?

There are a lot of cattle sold at the Vanderhoof and Williams Lake auctions
so why could they not be processed in P.G.?

Kawano Farms has a first class local facility that is already very busy but could handle more beef (my opinion) if they wanted to.

All the steers, feeders, and slaughter bovines go to Southern Alberta now, why not P.G.?

How about some positive thinkers?


    I believe most of us would like to be ‘positive thinkers’, Metalman, but the idea of governments funding a study of something like this can’t really help but raise suspicion that if it’s really such a good idea why hasn’t anyone with experience in the meat packing industry done a study themselves?

    It makes the project seem as if it’s just wishful thinking on the part of some cattlemen, who are obviously hoping for a better price for their beef than what they’re getting elsewhere, and some politicians who genuflect before anything that remotely holds promise of creating some ‘jobs’ they can then brag about at election time.

    Wasn’t it not long ago that there was a revelation of the type of jobs and working conditions created at some of the meat plants first touted as the great wave of future employment opportunities in southern Alberta? As I recall, they came up somewhat wanting.

      To go a little further with this, I think what we often witness with these type of government initiated studies is highly akin to the idea of the old Soviet Union’s “Five Year Plans”.

      Ones that often never ended up working, at least to the benefit of those they were supposedly being developed to benefit.

      It’s mentioned that Kawano Farms has a first class local facility that’s busy, and might be able to do more.

      Obviously they’ve built on a market that exists, and if it is growing one would think they would do more. That’s usually the way success in business is achieved.

      Why, then, do we not look at any obstacles that might be in the way of that growth, if it is indeed warranted? And takes steps to remove them, so far as is possible?

      Why do we have to always chase ‘pie-in-the-sky’ trying to ‘capture’ some market far away while completely ignoring the consumptive needs of people right here?

      This was the same mistake the Soviets made with their massive industrial complexes, most of which could never sell into markets abroad, and were far too large to service the market they had at home with anything actually wanted by their own people in the variety desired.

      You have just pulled the rug out from under virtually all government subsidization of research.

      Get rid of the economic development programs across the country from those in municipalities, provinces, and Canada.

      Even no more façade improvement subsidies, housing incentives, you name it.

      After all, we know that business will fund it.

      Business will fund highways, sewers, electrical distribution, gas distribution, hospitals, doctors, and on and on it goes.

      Why do we know that? Because those are thing which people need and there is money to be made by providing it.

      And make sure that you do not regulate it because business will come after whoever is in control and tell them they are interfering.

      While we are at it, let’s make PG a Canfor town and structure it after the old company run mining towns, mill towns, etc.

      “Why, then, do we not look at any obstacles that might be in the way of that growth, if it is indeed warranted? And takes steps to remove them, so far as is possible?”

      Wait a minute. First you say you do not Do you think that someone doing a “study” would not do that? These people are not exactly stupid.

      That is precisely what a good study would include.

      Where has you original premise gone? You know, the one were you said that “if it’s really such a good idea why hasn’t anyone with experience in the meat packing industry done a study themselves?”

      So why has “Kawano Farms” not done that? I suspect there are some very good reasons, such as maybe they have; maybe they do not want to grow larger; who knows.

I looked up Kawano Farms.

At the bottom of the page are the words:

“This project is supported by the BC Government’s Buy Local Program; delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC with funding from the BC Ministry of Agriculture.”

So, how heavily subsidized is this place????

BTW, food production is subsidized to some extent by most countries to ensure access to the basic food supply needs of the population in case of inclement weather as well as trade wars, real wars, etc.

I wouldn’t want to have that built up wind from where I live . Slaughter house/ feed lot . Yikes . I don’t even eat pigs or cows . Be careful what you ask for . In Winnipeg in the summer it takes your breath away . The pollution is well beyond belief . Maybe if they put it out by the pulpmill it won’t be noticed . Poor PG or lucky pg it’s only a study on our dime . They should build it in Vancouver or Kelowna . I’m sure they wouldn’t mind .

First it was a steel mill, now it’s a beef processing facility. Funny how these “proposals” only start surfacing when the prospect of an election arises. They really do think people here are stupid hillbillies.

With this government being all talk no action..Family first..laughable..LNG a joke….. I hope it happens but in crusty clarks era action speaks louder than words and all I have from her is talk… If history repeats her ways it will just be another empty promise prior to an election.

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