Source: Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food
Natural Valley Farms is certainly a bright light in Saskatchewan’s beef processing sector. As the producer-owned company gets ready to open its slaughtering plant in Neudorf, General Manager Eric Kasko reflects on the journey thus far.
“Our processing plant has been in operation one year now, and we are processing 500 carcasses per week. It is a true value chain, when you consider that Natural Valley belongs to producers from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta – the majority of them being Saskatchewan. In total there are about 200 family farms involved. The head office of the company is located in the processing facility in Wolseley.”
Kasko makes no bones about the difficulties he faced in getting the eagerly anticipated slaughter plant opened on time.
“We have had numerous delays, given the worldwide shortage of steel, but our contractor did a fantastic job getting the crews moving when the steel finally arrived. We are on track now with the final piece of the building puzzle in place.”
When the slaughtering plant becomes fully operational, Natural Valley will become a self-contained entity.
“We will then close the link between the slaughter and processing side. The slaughter plant is capable of processing 125,000 head per year. We will begin with half of that figure as our immediate goal is to ramp up to roughly 1250 head a week. There are huge opportunities opening up for our naturally raised beef, globally.”
Kasko and his colleagues favour a slow and steady move into the marketplace.
Over this past year, many Saskatchewan retailers, such as the Federated Co-ops and high-end restaurants, have been steady buyers of their product, and more than two-thirds of their beef is going to eastern retailers.
Within the last three months, Natural Valley completed its first sale into the U.S., and is close to finalizing an Asian sale.
“We will soon do a major Natural Valley label launch to officially announce our presence in the marketplace,” says Kasko. “To do this we have hired a specialized firm, MTD Trading from eastern Canada, to go international.”
Beef producers are paid under a unique grid system rewarding them for quality and yield - a significant change compared to other packing houses, explains Klasko.
The rural economy around Wolseley and Neudorf has certainly benefited from these two new plants. Between the slaughtering and processing plants, almost 100 persons from the two communities will be employed.
For more information, contact:
Natural Valley Farms
Browse » Home » associations , bio-fuels , breeders , equestrian , events , exports , feed , grains , pulse , seeding » Natural Valley Farms Opens New Slaughtering Plant in Neudorf