GFM Network News


Carcass defects are costly, and much of that cost ultimately works its way back to producers.

There’s lots of money being left on the packing plant floor

Quality defects exceed $60 per head and reducing those losses will boost the bottom line for producers, says expert

National Beef Quality audits prove that Canadian beef is pretty darn good. But they also show that producers could be putting more money in their wallets by reducing defects that show up at the packing plant, says Mark Klassen, director of technical services with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. The last audit, conducted in 2010-11, found […] Read more

Database follows the money to the packing plant

Study of carcass data shows cattle from an elite breeding program were worth more than $200 a head than the average calf

Sharing data through the entire beef chain adds value that can translate to economic gains — although how much of that might go to cattle producers is a question yet to be answered. McDonald’s Canada, Beefbooster, and BIXSco — the company now running the Beef InfoXchange System — recently collaborated with Livestock Gentec to analyze […] Read more


The Canadian Meat Council says there are about 1,000 vacancies in meat-packing plants across the country.

Jobs minister ‘uninformed’ about ag labour crisis

MaryAnn Mihychuk says packers should step up recruiting, but there are 1,000 jobs that Canadians don’t want

The new federal jobs minister simply doesn’t understand the labour crisis faced by the country’s meat-packing industry, says the co-chair of an industry labour task force. Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk says meat packers don’t need temporary foreign workers because there are tens of thousands of laid-off workers who could be recruited. “In the present circumstance, where […] Read more

Meat processors, including Cargill’s High River facility, are struggling to find workers despite “endless” domestic recruitment.

A Liberal ‘fix’ for temporary foreign worker program may be elusive

New government’s pledge to help beleaguered meat processors will be a tough sell

The new Liberal government has vowed to fix the broken federal temporary foreign worker program for Canada’s beleaguered meat processors — but that may not be enough. Despite “endless” domestic recruitment and a seven per cent unemployment rate in Canada, the country’s meat industry is still short about 1,000 workers. And the situation “just gets […] Read more


“Just because you’re a body and don’t have a job, it doesn’t mean you’re the right body to work in an industry that has to have a lot of compassion for animals,

Meat packers desperate for workers despite jump in jobless rate

Farm Vote: There are 1,000 job vacancies at slaughter plants, but Canadians shun them

Despite job losses in other sectors, Canada’s pork industry is still struggling to build a sustainable workforce. “For us in Western Canada, it really comes down to availability of labour,” said Darcy Fitzgerald, executive director at Alberta Pork. “We need to have workers available for us, and often, they’re not Canadian, only because we don’t […] Read more

Klassen: Feeder cattle prices stabilize

Western Canadian feeder cattle prices found some footing this past week trading at similar levels to seven days earlier.  Auction market volumes consisted of stragglers and late bloomers with minimal numbers on offer; buyers on hand continue to promote the scarcity principle which caused the market to stabilize. Feedlots operators were quite aggressive on 800 […] Read more


Devilish dollar: What’s good for producers may mean more pain for packers

Cargill and JBS plants in Alberta need more cattle, but a low dollar 
makes it harder to get them and also has some negatives for feedlots

A low dollar means double trouble for Alberta’s big packers — and puts stress on feedlots, too. “In 2015, with smaller cattle numbers and bigger exports, we’re going to see some pressure on our packing plants and feedlots to stay better utilized,” said Brian Perillat, senior analyst and manager with CanFax. Despite its shrinking herd, […] Read more