Ontario backs feed processing at Cargill beef plant

(File photo by Dave Bedard)

Ontario’s provincial government plans to put up over half a million dollars for Cargill to process byproducts from its Guelph beef plant for feed.

Provincial Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal on Wednesday announced a $582,000 investment toward Cargill’s installation of a “value-added” processing system converting raw byproduct into a “protein-rich animal feed ingredient.”

The “leading-edge technological upgrades,” installed at a total cost of $3.5 million, are expected to ensure a “high level of nutrients” and protein in feed for livestock, poultry and “other animals.”

The province didn’t specify what byproducts would be used or what types of livestock would receive feed with the Guelph plant’s ingredients.

The use of specified risk materials (SRMs) from beef processing in animal feed, pet foods and fertilizer has been prohibited since 2007. SRMs include tissues known to harbour the proteins that cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle.

Meat and bone meal from ruminant livestock, such as cattle, sheep, goats, elk and buffalo, with all SRMs removed, are allowed in feeds — except in feeds meant for other ruminants.

Processing feed ingredients on-site is expected to allow Cargill to reduce its outsourcing and limit the Guelph beef plant’s “environmental waste,” the province said Wednesday.

“By investing in technology that will support local production, we are helping ensure Cargill’s operations remain viable and provide great jobs for people right here in Guelph,” Leal said in a release.

With the upgrades at the plant, Cargill is “reducing our environmental footprint as a result of fewer emissions from transportation, retaining jobs in Guelph and improving efficiencies in Ontario’s beef supply chain,” Matt Gibney, the Guelph plant’s general manager, said in the same release.

Cargill has owned and operated the former Better Beef plant at Guelph since 2005 and also markets livestock feeds under the Purina and Nutrena brands. — AGCanada.com Network

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