P.E.I. beef brand getting attention from national buyers

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Farmers talk about production; Borden plant stresses safety

The Prince Edward Island Certified Beef brand was launched earlier this year to help the province gain wider market recognition because our beef hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Once chefs and suppliers had a chance to sample it, they gave our beef rave reviews. A marketing blitz in Calgary, the home of western beef, was a major hit earlier this summer.

 Our special environment and fresh sea air is credited, at least in part, for a delicious product.

Any support is also a big help for the Atlantic Beef Products plant in Borden which has been struggling since it opened to turn a profit and develop additional markets.

Now the brand is getting an even bigger boost this month as 11 buyers from across Canada are in the province to hear from farmers about their production methods and to tour the Borden plant.

Local producer Brian Morrison said P.E.I. cattlemen strive to ensure quality with each animal. He believes that P.E.I. Certified Beef is as flavourful and tasty as any meat that is being produced in Canada. The Culinary Alliance, one of the partners in the certified brand, is working with Pearse Dolan of Dolan Foods to distribute the brand to high-end restaurants and specialty meat shops in central and western Canada.

Toronto Chef Mark McEwan has long been a proponent of Island beef and offers it in his restaurants. He says the province is a hidden gem when it comes to beef and it’s time for the rest of the country to sit up and take notice. That is the kind of praise we need for our beef.

Bringing in buyers isn’t the only recent initiative by P.E.I. to enhance its reputation. Quality and safety are two items that cannot be stressed enough. Earlier this month, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Forestry signed an information sharing agreement to locate livestock that might pose a risk to food safety. Having protocols in place to protect consumers and animals only enhances P.E.I.’s reputation for quality and safety.

Organizations: Atlantic Beef Products, Culinary Alliance, Dolan Foods Canadian Food Inspection Agency P.E.I. Department of Agriculture

Geographic location: Canada, Calgary, Toronto

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