I've just returned to the office from a short trip to British Columbia. I travelled with Deb Verbonac and Ben Graham from AdFarm to lend support to some of the participants on the Canadian Angus Rancher Endorsed program.
We attended a meat tasting at La Rua Restaurante in Whistler, BC. Special thanks to Mario Enero for being such a great host. This event was put on by Alberta Meats which is made up of Heritage Angus Beef, Sturgeon Valley Pork, Canadian Rangeland Beef and Bision Inc. and Cedar Creek Winery. The event was attended by chefs and restaurant owners in the Whistler area and was very well received.
We next attended a meat tasting at Earls Yaletown in Vancouver. This was also hosted by Alberta Meats and was attended by approximately 50 chefs and owners of restaurants in Vancouver as well as representatives from food markets in the area. These two events are a great start to getting Canadian Angus beef on more restaurant menus.
We also had the opportunity to visit the Lepp Farm Market and Hopcott Premium Meats, two very modern markets that specialize in local products. These two groups do an excellent job of promoting local agriculture and are differentiating products and adding value for local producers. I think this is a business model that we will see a lot more of over the course of the next decade as consumers increasingly want to know where their food comes from.
This was a very progressive group of people that are breaking new ground in helping a cross-section of agriculture sectors. They are working hard and assuming a lot of risk to break into new markets. They should be commended for a job well done. This isn't the normal route that the Canadian Angus Association travels, but we see a need to connect with consumers to get more Angus beef on menus. This may be best done through working with the foodservice industry.
Special thanks go to Ken Friesen of KFC Farms for helping to organize the tour and acting as tour guide/chauffeur.
Posted by Michael Latimer