Ont. beef packer gets federal loan for overhaul

A provincially inspected beef, veal and lamb packer in southern Ontario will get a $1.5 million federal loan for a redesign and new equipment to boost its capacity.

Holly Park Meat Packers, which runs a slaughter plant at Bolton, about 25 km north of Pearson International, and a processing plant at Cookstown, about 20 km south of Barrie, is one of Ontario’s largest provincially-inspected meat processors.

The $1.5 million will flow through the government’s $50 million Slaughter Improvement Program, which offers loans to back “sound business plans aimed at reducing costs, increasing revenues and improving operations” for Canadian red meat packers and processors.

Last month’s federal budget provided an additional $10 million for the program from the federal Agricultural Flexibility Fund.

“Investing in Holly Park Meat Packers will help increase their slaughter capacity, cut costs and improve operations making the industry more profitable and competitive,” local MP David Tilson said in the government’s release Thursday.

The packing plant’s redesign and added equipment are expected to give producers in the region “the opportunity to access niche markets.”

The government also noted some of the funds are expected to go to develop and set up training on new procedures required for the plant to become a federally inspected facility.

Holy Park is a family-run business set up in 1979 by current owner Tony Facciolo, then in partnership with his father. The family has been in the meat business since 1968 and now employs about 100 people between its two facilities.

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