There was good news for fans of quality, locally-produced food and supporters of the Manitoba cattle industry earlier this week: Keystone Processors Ltd. opened its doors and announced it was shipping Manitoba-raised beef to local stores.
Dooley Communications organized an official “tenderloin cutting” ceremony (in lieu of a ribbon) that generated a significant amount of publicity. Media covering the event included: Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg Sun (I love that print reporters make video now), CBC English TV, CBC French TV, CTV Winnipeg, CKX Brandon, CITY TV Winnipeg, Global Winnipeg and the Manitoba Cooperator. The story was picked up by a number of other print and radio outlets across the province.
So why is a new beef packing plant a big deal? Well, if you’re a fan of high quality, locally-produced food, then you’ll be pleased to learn that Keystone Processors is planning on launching a new premium-quality brand of aged, Manitoba-raised beef this spring. It’s difficult to find premium, aged beef as it is and nearly impossible to find Manitoba-raised products.
But more important is the potential impact the plant could have on the provincial cattle industry. The company plans to make this the first sizable, federally-inspected beef packing plant opened in this province in a generation. That federal licence is needed to sell to national retailers and to export our beef products to the world, including fast growing markets in Asia (where forecasters are predicting most food demand growth will be in the next 50 years).
It also marks the start of the creation of a Manitoba brand of beef. Keystone Processors has an opportunity to capitalize on consumers’ demand for high quality, premium products.
Having a local plant will also be a great benefit to local cattle producers who currently are forced to truck their animals across the continent (Alberta, Ontario or into the U.S.) to get them to market. Once Keystone Processors ramps up its operation, there’ll be another local option that will create more competition among buyers of cattle and one that will save local cattle producers significant transportation costs.
Dooley Communications is working with Keystone Processors on its branding and public relations efforts. Stay tuned. We cooking up some good things together.