Through this project a consultant was hired to prepare a business plan that shows a pathway to the Manitoba Organic Marketplace Trade Association's ultimate goal of establishing a coordinated approach to processing and selling organic beef in Manitoba.
Increasing the synergies achievable as a group will ultimately benefit individual producers, processors, and others within the value chain. It was recommended that the cooperative reposition itself by dividing it into two streams. In one stream, the association would continue to operate as it is and concentrate on attracting new members, because as demand for live animals and processed product cattle increases, the supply could be outstripped.
The second stream would develop a fully-equipped, profitable sausage kitchen that would mirror or duplicate the processing done by Clear Creek Organics in their contracted facilities. The Manitoba facility will be federally inspected and meet organic certification requirements. The facility could be accessed by other groups (conventional and organic) seeking processing services.
Scarcity of CFIA slaughter facilities continues to present a challenge for developing this and other niche industries including organics, sheep, bison and elk. The lack of a federally inspected facility capacity for the next foreseeable future has many retailers less interested in carrying the product until such a time as traditional systems can be adopted.
Next steps will include pursuing a partnership with a provincial slaughter plant that is looking to go federal and partner with investors to build the sausage kitchen.