Posted October 06, 2018 05:23:16 The Canadian butcher shop scene is set to expand, and that means the arrival of new tenants, new restaurants, and more options for the meat and dairy industry in a city already awash in new businesses.
“We’re getting the attention of all of these new restaurants that want to come in and fill that void,” says Steve Scott, president of the Association of Manitoba Meat Packers.
“And we’re seeing an increase in the number of new restaurants opening and we’re just getting the excitement.”
While the butcher shops of the province may have the potential to take on a different flavour than those in other parts of the country, the industry’s future is also a concern.
“There’s a lot of fear and uncertainty and there’s a concern with the regulatory environment,” says Scott.
“With a lot more restaurants coming in, we’re going to have a greater demand for the regulations to be in place.”
Scott and his fellow butcher shop owners are also hoping to get the industry moving on a sustainable and transparent model.
“I think the key is to take the time to think about what it’s going to take for the industry to be sustainable and how that’s going, in terms of quality, and how it’s got to be more environmentally sustainable,” Scott says.
“What are the changes that need to be made, how do we take this into account, what are the opportunities to create more jobs, how are we going to make sure the community has a better experience?”
While there is a lot to be excited about in the coming years, there are also some challenges that the industry is going to need to address if it wants to thrive.
For example, while the meat industry is booming, it can also be difficult to get meat on grocery shelves in the city.
“You can’t just get meat off the shelf in the grocery store,” Scott explains.
“It’s a really difficult situation.”
It is also important to keep in mind that many of the biggest players in the meat packers’ business are located in the Greater Toronto Area.
“In the GTA, we have the meat-packing industry in our backyard,” says Chris Laskin, president and CEO of the Canadian Meat Packer’s Association.
“A lot of these smaller guys are just waiting to get out of their backyard and make a living and make money.”
While some cities may have more open space to accommodate new and innovative businesses, others are still reluctant to let in newcomers.
“They don’t want to get into the market, and there are a lot places that aren’t open to people that want them to be open to them,” Scott adds.
“So you can see why we see a lot in the GTA that we don’t necessarily see in other regions.”
In addition to the increased demand for food, there is also growing concern about climate change.
“The warmer the weather gets, the more the greenhouse gases get into our atmosphere and then that affects how the planet gets warmer and hotter and warmer,” says Laskins.
“That’s why we’re all worried about what’s going on.”
With the recent spike in the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the meatpackers are also concerned about the impacts on the environment.
“If we’re not able to get that carbon out of the air and out of our atmosphere, how is that going to affect the environment?
What’s going into our rivers?
How are we feeding the animals?”
Laskens comments echo those of Scott, who believes that there is much more to be done to address climate change, but that it’s important to remember that this is an issue that impacts everyone in the industry.
“This is something that affects everybody.
It affects the people that own these businesses.
It impacts the farmers.
It’s an issue for all of us.”