Beef Cattle

Much like the pork industry in the province, the beef industry on the island is suffering.

Prices are falling, the only beef processing plant (that services all of the Maritimes) is at risk of closing, and producers are contemplating what the island, once deemed the “million acre farm,” would look like without beef and hog production.

In 2001, there were 776 farms producing beef cattle on PEI. Currently, there are 602.

Production methods are typically cow-calf operations, where calves are raised on pasture until they reach certain weight and then are finished (fattened up before being sold) in a feedlot.

After the closure of Hub Meat Packers (in Moncton, NB) in 2002, cattle producers from across the maritime provinces formed the Atlantic Beef Products cooperative and acquired their own beef processing facility located in Albany, PEI. Beef from across the Maritimes is processed at this facility. The plant has been operating at a loss since it opened, and without significant financial assistance from the three maritime provincial governments, the plant may be forced to close. In December of 2007, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick committed to a cash infusion that would help the plant stay open combined with a supposed $6 million grant from the federal government (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency). After ACOA made the announcement, the plant was told that the grant was intended to be a loan, which the plant had to refuse for fear that a large debt would deter private investors.

As our infrastructure disappears, so do our small and medium scale farms. It is time to take action to save family farms in the Atlantic region. Sign on to the petition