The Quebec government plans to put up $440,000 for construction of a new meat processing facility in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region.
Agriculture Minister Laurent Lessard on Tuesday announced the funding for the Centre de transformation de la viande du Bas-Saint-Laurent (or CTV for short), which is expected to start processing sheep and cattle in December.
The CTV, to be built at Saint-Gabriel-de-Rimouski, will help local producers meet demand from restauranteurs, retailers and consumers looking for locally-raised lamb and beef, Lessard said in a release.
The facility will have an effective traceability system for its meat and a HACCP (hazard analysis critical control points) certification system, he said.
The $3 million CTV project is to be funded by farmers, farm groups and private investors, who have test-marketed value-added meat products through the Centre de developpement bioalimentaire du Quebec de La Pocatiere, a provincial business incubator agency for the food industry.
Within three years, the CTV expects to be processing at least 240 sheep and 47 beef steers per week and provide cuts and prepared meats for medium-sized and high-end markets, the province said in its release.
The CTV plans to distribute its product to major supermarket chains in eastern Quebec, New Brunswick and certain points of sale in the Montreal region, Lessard said.
Bas-Saint-Laurent is the largest lamb-producing region in the province, with 209 farms producing 32 per cent of Quebec’s lambs, the government said.