The South Island Prosperity Partnership announced $12,500 in funding towards a feasibility study for a local abattoir. (Stef Laramie/News Staff)

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

The call for local, ethically sourced meat is being answered with the help of a Victoria organization.

The South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP) announced $12,500 in funding towards a ‘feasibility study’ for a local abattoir earlier this month, which will also be partly funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the province through the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.

The abattoir study will be conducted by Greenchain Consulting, exploring options for keeping meat processing local. The organization helps food-related businesses become more eco friendly and sustainable. They have worked on various past projects on the Island and the Mainland.

“Residents of the CRD have always supported their farmers, but with recent worldwide events there is now even more focus to buy local. Investing in local infrastructure for the agricultural community, such as regional abattoirs, will help increase local food production,” said Darren Stott, president of Greenchain Consulting, in a press release. “CRD residents know this strengthens food security, increases local jobs and improves the local economy.”

ALSO READ: Esquimalt, T’Sou-ke nations join more than 50 other members in South Island Prosperity Partnership

Greenchain Consulting will look in to the region’s current available livestock processing facilities, as the demand for ethically and sustainably sourced meat grows.

“Today, as we face an unprecedented global health concern crisis with COVID-19, the importance of local food supply chains is becoming even more evident,” stated SIPP in a press release. To deal with the challenges presented by COVID-19, SIPP created a task force to help economic recovery across the region.

SIPP consulted local agriculture stakeholders, and found Island producers are interested in having their livestock processed locally, noting that “the vast majority of meat is imported to the Island, and most locally raised livestock are transported out of the region to be processed.”

The group explained that processing livestock locally would reduce stress on the animals, reduce environmental impacts due to transport, and would help create jobs and stimulate the economy.

“We often buy meat from outside our region due to cost savings from highly concentrated industrial farming, but having a local abattoir could help change that,” said Emilie de Rosenroll, CEO of SIPP, in a press release. “Not only will it help farmers, it will benefit consumers who want to buy higher quality local products too.”

SIPP is an organization with more than 65 public and private partners, including 11 local governments, nine First Nations, three post-secondary institutions, nine associations and non-profits, and 30 major employers. For more information please visit southislandprosperity.ca.



dawn.gibson@sookenewsmirror.com

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