2020 Meat & Poultry Ontario Annual Report

Page 1


A sustainable, respectful and diverse food system that celebrates the nutritional and economic value of meat and poultry


Carol Goriup

Florence Meats, Oakville


We strengthen the meat and poultry industry in Ontario by connecting people, influencing change and empowering our members.


MPO is governed by a dedicated group of volunteers representing the diversity of the industry, coming from abattoir operations, processing, retailing, and wholesaling sectors, with businesses ranging in size from 1 to 450 employees.


2014 – 2017 Cory Van Groningen VG Meats, Simcoe

2011 – 2013 Joe Abate Abate Packers, Arthur

2007 – 2011 Tony Facciolo Holly Park Meat Packers, Bolton

2005 - 2007 Tim Schinkel Schinkel’s Legacy, Chatham

2003 - 2005 Mario Henry Town & Country Farms, Hornby

2001 - 2003 Leo Rocheleau Weston Abattoir, Maidstone

2000 - 2001 Gerry Houtzager Stayner Meat Packers, Stayner

1997 - 2000 Leo Rocheleau Weston Abattoir, Maidstone

1995 - 1997 Gerry Houtzager Stayner Meat Packers, Stayner

1992 - 1995 Nancy AckertThe Beef Way, Kincardine

1991 - 1992 Ron Dancey Morrison’s Meat Packers, Cambridge

1988 - 1991 Wilfrid Gravelle W.L. Gravelle Meats, Hastings

1985 - 1988 Doug Lewis W.D. Lewis Meats, Napanee

1980 - 1985 Ron Deeth Windcrest Farms, Port Perry

Cory Van Groningen

VG Meats, Simcoe


Christine Hobson

Halenda’s Fine Foods, Oshawa


Kevin Schinkel

Schinkel’s Legacy, Chatham


Peter Baarda

J&G Quality Meats, Burlington

Graham Dalziel

Handtmann Canada, Waterloo

Adam Hayward

Nesbitt’s Meat Market, Lindsay

Mike Hutson

SYSPRO Canada, Mississauga

Gerhard Metzger

Metzger Meats, Hensall

Kevin Stemmler

Stemmler Meats & Cheese, Heidelberg



2020 also saw the launch of the Meat & Growth Strategy. Based on events of 2019, MPO started developing the framework for a strategy to address issues of loss of abattoirs (54% of abattoirs lost since 1999), setting corrective course to grow the sector, improving sustainability and responsiveness of the sector and finding a way to train

1000 people a year for the next 10 years+ (Ontario numbers). Coupled with the impact of COVID 2020 with empty grocery shelves it really highlighted the vulnerability and lack of ability for our food system to adapt to stresses in the environment.

To correct the path, we are going to need a concerted, consistent and collaborative approach that will require the Government and Industry to work towards common goals and objectives. This strategy is the MPO’s first step in making this happen.

AGM 2021 President’s Message

This past year has certainly been like no other. With all the unknowns, changes and challenges, we can pride ourselves in knowing, whether we like it or not, we, in the meat industry are nimble and can adapt to change.

Change took place in many areas. At the Board level, we saw the retirement of Mike Hutson of Syspro. Although he was not a long time Board member, he certainly was an active one. His attendance and contributions during board meetings were a valuable asset to our team. We appreciate his time and effort with us. Four new members were added to our Board namely, Dale Schefter, Schefter Poultry, Jeff Miedema, Townsend Meats, Doris Valade, Malabar Group and Doug Alexander from Leadbetter Foods Inc. All have made a positive impact to our Board dynamics.

Change in the industry was constant as COVID navigated its way through our lives. OMAFRA Minister Ernie Hardimen was very instrumental in ensuring that our sector had what it needed to continue in our daily operations in a safe environment. There were many phone calls, meetings and updates that went on during the height of the pandemic. The Minister was very instrumental in offering assistance and encouragement in any way his government could. As a result, we saw funding made available for COVID at both provincial and federal levels; inspection was made a priority and saw OMAFRA respond to 1,400 requests for overtime, food processors were prioritized for vaccines and meat plants were invited to participate in one of the first walk in clinics set up at the Ontario Food Terminal. We thank the government for their help and support during this very trying time.

Despite all the cancellations that we experienced at every turn, MPO was able to still run the Ontario’s Finest Butcher Competition. There were very tight restraints and protocols in place that had to be adhered to however, our team made it happen. The closed finals were livestreamed and saw Steve Toms of Fortinos, victorious as our newest Ontario’s Finest Butcher. Congratulations, Steve

MPO continued to service their members and adapted to the new realities by communicating via teams and webinars. We have learned that this mode of communication is here to stay and will open up many opportunities, especially for members in remote areas. This will facilitate opportunities for them to be more involved with MPO either by participating in webinars or even considering a board position. The possibilities are endless.

As we navigate forward, one thing is certain, that we have an amazing team at MPO willing and able to help with any of the challenges we face. They are only a phone call away. Reach out to staff to help or connect you with someone that can.

On a final note, this will be my last President’s Message as my term as President comes to a close. It has truly been an honour and privilege to represent our membership over my 4 years as president and 15 years on the Board.  I want to thank MPO staff, board, membership and industry stakeholders for all the help, encouragement and support I have received over the years. I have come to realize how important a strong collective voice is and we are so fortunate, and I say this sincerely, to have such dedicated people in our industry. My hope is, as we move forward, we remain connected. Take care.



Technical Director

Daphne Nuys-Hall

(519) 763-4558 ext. 222 technical@meatpoultryon.ca



Carol Goriup


Florence Meats, Oakville president@meatpoultryon.ca (905) 842-2066

Marketing & Communications Manager

April Jackman

(519) 763-4558 ext. 225 C: (519) 784-4582 april@meatpoultryon.ca

April is responsible for MPO’s communications strategy, promoting a strong concise message to our members, industry, and consumers. Leading our market development initiatives, April manages the MPO branding programs, social media strategy, and consumer outreach.

April also manages MPO events including The Meating Place, Meat Industry Expo, Industry Day and Awards Gala.

Daphne works on the regulatory aspect of the meat industry, providing regulatory and technical advice and assistance to individual member businesses. Daphne

Christine Hobson

Vice President

Halenda’s Fine Foods, Oshawa (905) 576-6328 (x235)

Kevin Schinkel


Schinkel’s Legacy, Chatham (519) 351-0818


Gerhard Metzger

Industry Development Specialist

Derek Boudreau

C: (519) 635-9281 derek@meatpoultryon.ca

Derek is in the field connecting with current and potential members, identifying challenges, offering solutions, and presenting opportunities through MPO’s many programs, services and events.

Metzger Meats, Hensall, (519) 262-3130

Kevin Stemmler

Stemmler Meats, Heidelberg, (519) 699-4590

Adam Hayward

Nesbitt’s Meat Market, Lindsay, (705) 324-7574

Peter Baarda

J & G Quality Meats, Burlington, (905) 634-0196

Graham Dalziel

Handtmann Canada , Waterloo, (519) 725-3666

Membership Coordinator

Melissa McDougall (519) 763-4558 ext. 223 member@meatpoultryon.ca

Melissa is responsible for maintaining strong member relations, managing registration for MPO events, and maintaining a current and accurate member database. As MPO’s in-house graphic and web designer,

Melissa manages design and layout of MPO communication pieces, designs and updates MPO’s website and provides requested design services to MPO members.

Executive Director

Franco Naccarato (519) 763-4558 ext. 224 franco@meatpoultryon.ca

Doris Valade

The Malabar Group Inc, Campbellville, 905-659-8473

Dale Schefter

Schefter Poultry Processing Ltd., Gorrie, (519) 335-6791

Jeff Miedema


Franco is responsible for the leadership and management of the association: working closely with all levels of government, agriculture and industry groups on issues that directly affect our members.

Townsend Butchers Inc., Simcoe, (519) 426-6750

Doug Alexander

Leadbetter Foods Inc., Orillia, (705) 325-9922



Blocktalk Magazine

BLOCKtalk, our quarterly magazine, remains our most important communication vehicle which was delivered in hard copy to all member companies, and electronically to an additional 2,000 people in the meat processing industry.

Word on the Block Enewsletter

With a focus on keeping our members current, Word on the Block, our electronic bulletin, was delivered to 500 individuals bi-weekly.

Social Media Overview

Share the Love – Holiday Food Bank Campaign

In 2020 MPO ran a campaign in support of Ontario food banks during the Christmas holiday. Five food banks across the province received donations of Ontario meat and poultry. Thanks to the generosity of our members matching MPO’s donation, over $3500 worth of product was delivered.


Our industry page @MeatPoultryON is up 23% ending the year with 555 followers.

Our consumer page @OntarioMeatPoultry saw growth of 5% with over 13K followers.


Our industry account @MeatPoultryON more than doubled our followers. Increasing 68% ending the year with 602 followers.

Our consumer account @HomegrownOn saw growth of 9.5%, finally breaking the 2000 follower mark, closing out the year with 2098 followers.


MPO’s Instagram account @OntarioMeatPoultry, continues to see the largest amount of growth. Ending 2020 with a 133% increase in followers at 933.


Followers we up 82% in 2020, finishing the year off with just over 1000 followers. 2020 was a popular year for recipe searching and our Pinterest page saw over 1 million views for the year.


A new account for 2020, MPO’s Linkedin page quickly became popular and ended the year with 468 followers and counting.



MPO offers membership to businesses that support our vision to provide leadership for Ontario’s meat and poultry industry by fostering innovation, promoting food safety and integrity and recognizing excellence.

Associate Members enjoy the following benefits:

• Free business directory listing and access on meatpoultryon.ca with a direct link to your company website.

• Referrals to help foster and grow new and existing business relationships.

• Discounted advertising in many print and digital publications found in our Media Kit and Supporter Program.

• Up to 50% off MPO events and services from expo to advertising.

• Opportunity to provide editorial content for our print and digital communications and/or workshops.

• Receive all MPO communications including BLOCKtalk magazine in print and digital, Word on the Block e-newsletter.

MPO business members enjoy the following benefits:

• Access to technical, regulatory, funding, marketing, and operational support.

• Have confidence in knowing we are only a phone call away.

• Reduced rates on training, nutrition analysis, industry events, and graphic design services.

• Networking with fellow business owners and industry leaders.

• Strengthening your voice within industry and government.

• Up to 50% off MPO events and services

• Receive all MPO communications including BLOCKTalk magazine in print and digital, Word on the Block e-newsletter and our Technical Bulletins.

• Access to resources on meatpoultryon.ca for reports, directories, and templates

• Free business directory listing and access on meatpoultryon.ca

• Participate in Ontario’s Finest Meats Competition and Ontario’s Finest Butcher Competition

• Free classified advertising on meatpoultryon.ca



Meat & Poultry Ontario was honoured to award members within our community and industry with the well-deserved recognition for their longstanding and active involvement and hard work.

10 Year Member (2010 – 2020)

Business Member

• Deanco Meats

• A Dong Foods Co.

• European Sausage House Inc.

• Hilts Butcher Shop Ltd.

• Tavora Foods

Associate Member

• Carlisle Technology

25 Year Member (1995-2020)

Business Member

• R. Denninger Ltd.

Associate Member Recognition



Full List of Winners: Lifetime Members

Doris Valade (2019)

Laurie Nicol (2018)

Joe Abate (2017)

Brian Quinn (2016)

Graham Dalziel (2015)

Tony Facciolo (2011)

Pat Johnson (2005)

Gerry Houtzager (2003)

Leo Rocheleau (2001)

Jim Vidoczy (2000)

Nancy Ackert (1997)

Dr. Ron Usborne (1996)

Ron Deeth (1995)

25 Years

R. Denninger Ltd. (1995)

Malabar Super Spice Co. Ltd. (1994)

Windcrest Meat Packers (1994)

Metzger Meat Products (1993)

Pavao Meats & Deli (1993)

Schinkel’s Legacy (1993)

Yes Group Inc. (1993)

Hay’s Custom Cutting, Campbellford (1992)

Hoffman Meats & European Deli, Stayner (1992)

Newmarket Meat Packers, Newmarket (1992)

WIBERG Corporation, Oakville (1992)

Handtmann Canada, Waterloo (1992)

Barron Poultry, Amherstburg (1991)

Brenner Packers, Windsor (1991)

Norwich Packers, Norwich (1991)

Weston Abattoir, Maidstone (1991)

Chicken Farmers of Ontario, Burlington (1989)

Jetnet Norstar Corp., Toronto (1989)

Schinkels’ Gourmet Meats, Chatham (1989)

Springer’s Meats, Hamilton (1989)

Rothsay, Dundas (1988)

Stemmler Meat & Cheese, Heidelberg (1988)

VG Meats, Simcoe (1987)

L’Orignal Packing, L’Orignal (1986)

MMIS, Aurora (1986)

Nitta Casings, Markham (1986)

Walnut Hill Farms, Gads Hill (1986)

Gord’s Abattoir, Leamington (1982)

Ontario Pork, Guelph (1980)

Associate Member Recognition Award (AMRA)

Multivac (2020)

Reiser (2019)

VC999 (2018)

Handtmann Canada (2017)

Malabar Super Spice (2016)

Meat Industry Achievement Award (MIA)

Hayter’s Farm, Dashwood (2016)

Schinkel’s Legacy, Chatham (2014)

Conestoga Meat Packers, Breslau (2013)

In Memory of Dave Tiller (2012)

Halenda’s Fine Foods, Oshawa (2011)

Springer’s Meats, Hamilton (2010)

VG Meats, Simcoe (2009)

Stemmler’s Meat & Cheese, Heidelberg (2008)

Leo Rocheleau, Maidstone (2007)




Ontario’s Finest Butcher in 2020

In the elimination round held in September, twelve competitors from around the province had 30 minutes to transform a pork bone-in leg (rind on), bone-in shoulder butt, and bone-in loin, into merchandisable cuts of their choice, and were judged on the degree of difficulty/ efficiency and skill level in boning, trimming and cutting, primal cut utilization and financial performance. In the final round, it was still about skill, but creativity and consumer-appeal were added to the judging criteria.

The theme for the final ‘black box’ round was ‘Deja Food’ and finalists Dave VanderVelde, VG Meats, Stoney Creek; Steve Toms, Fortinos Supermarkets, Hamilton; Frank DiGenova, Butcher By Nature, Toronto; and Steve Toms of Fortinos had 30 minutes to transform two ducks, a leg of veal, and a pork bone-in loin into merchandisable cuts ready for a display case.

It was Steve Toms who took home top prize by outperforming his two competitors in a head-to-head battle for meat cutting supremacy.

Special Thanks to our 2020 Event Partners:

FINALIST: Dave VenderveldeFINALIST: Frank DiGenova


The 2020 MPO Labour Market Report, provides benchmarking compensation and wage data and industry labour trends, is provided exclusively to those members who participated in the survey. The survey continues to identify the challenge operators are having in finding skilled labour.

The majority of respondents’ primary business activity is processing at 41%, followed by retail and slaughter at 28% and 24% respectively, with wholesale being represented by only 7% of respondents.

Despite the positive outlook for increasing the number of

Meat Cutter / Butcher - Industrial (NOC 9462)

Meat Cutter / Butcher - Retail / Wholesale (NOC 6331)

Animal Handler / Receiver

Respondents were asked to identify what they believe the challenges are in finding labour and overall the lack of motivation, lack of skilled people, general skills and relevant experience are still the top

Somewhat Difficult Very Difficult
Unable to Fill Total
Kill Floor Worker Sausage Maker Smokehouse Operator General Labourer Machine Operator Driver Shipper/Receiver Sanitation Maintenance Lead Hand / Supervisor QA/HACCP Coordinator / Technician / Manager Human Resources / Health and Safety Sales and Accounting 0% 8% 16% 5% 37% 22% 50% 24% 25% 26% 40% 16% 10% 6% 17% 43% 54% 60% 26% 42% 26% 33% 33% 12% 20% 21% 20% 26% 30% 17% 11% 10% 21% 24% 16% 11% 0% 0% 4% 0% 0% 0% 0% 16% 10% 6% 0% 0% 75% 92% 92% 58% 63% 55% 87% 36% 45% 47% 60% 58% 50% 29% 28% 53% 0 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
201820192020 75% 68% 79%79% 73% 67% 73% 83% 75% 62% 54% 28% 54% 59% 33% 81% 51% 75% 21% 20% 4% Lack of relevant experience Lack of motivation / poor attitude Lack of skilled people Lack of general skills Lack of specific skills or training Too few applicants Schedule availability



Strengthening Ontario’s meat and poultry industry by embracing a robust food safety culture while aiding with operational challenges and regulatory compliance, training, and educational resources.


While MPO staff were unable to visit to meat facilities across the province including abattoirs, free standing meat plants and retail butcher shops in person in 2020 we continued to offer technical and regulatory support to our members, answering emails and phone calls ensuring that we are hearing from the industry and responding to their concerns. The top three issues facing our members remains regulatory burdens, access to labour, and rising costs.

MPO received 252 requests for assistance with regulatory, technical, and operational challenges from operators. The guidance MPO provided is not limited to Ontario Meat Regulation 31/05 but included other pieces of Provincial and Federal regulation that spanned many jurisdictions such as Health Canada, CFIA and the Ministry of Labour. Specific issues addressed included licensing or construction requirements, carcass interventions, traceability, and corrective actions for adverse test results.

2020 Top Reg's Ontario Regulation 31/05 - Meat

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations

Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001

Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations

Food and Drug Act and Regulations

Health of Animals Act and Regulations

Environmental Protection Act and Regulations

2020 Top 10 Issues Addressed

Written Programs & Protocols

Procurement / Sourcing

Inspection Issues


Licensing / New Builds / Construction

Training / Workshops

Regulations / MPGs

Nutritional Analysis Services


Microbiological Sampling / Results


Agricultural Adaptation Council

Agri-Food Management Institute

American Association of Meat Processors

Canadian Meat Council

Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education

Farm and Food Care

Food Processing Skills Canada

Ontario Food Protection Association

President’s Council

Veal Industry Advisory Committee

Sheep Industry Advisory Committee

Hog Industry Advisory Committee

Ontario Pork Grading Board



Ontario Meat Regulation 31/05 requires all employees of the plant to be trained and competent to perform their assigned duties and that there shall be at least one supervisor in attendance at the plant who has received formal training in hygienic food handling. Meat & Poultry Ontario’s Food Handler Training program is one of only two that meet the requirements for training as required by Ontario Meat Regulation 31/05.

MPO’s Food Handler Training Program has the critical information to address your food safety training needs. Upon successful completion of the exam you will receive a Certificate issued through University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus that meets the regulatory requirements.

Prior to COVID-19 shutting down in person training sessions, MPO Technical Director was able to deliver three workshops to 25 individuals across the province. MPO distributed 26 self-study manuals in various languages as well as proctored 32 food handler training exams after restrictions had been lifted.

COVID highlighted the need for the Food Handler Training exams to be administered online and MPO began exploration with various online vehicles as well as software that could administer the examination in a manner meeting the requirements of the province.


“I enjoyed it and the presenter kept it interesting”

“Was fun and informative”

“In general the presenter was very clear and concise in information being presented and used good real life examples to help with the materials”

“The instructor was very clear and concise, knowledgeable, giving many adequate examples of real life occurrences”

“Instructor was highly knowledgeable and enthusiastic making course more enjoyable”



Meat & Poultry Growth Strategy

We started the year by kicking off the Meat & Poultry Growth Strategy. A collection of surveys led us to develop a strategy to grow the sector by addressing long standing issues like labour, access to capital, growing innovation and developing future entrepreneurs. The strategy calls for growing the sector by half a billion dollars in the next ten years. We conducted outreach to livestock associations and the government to gather supports for the initiative. By the end of the year we secured not one but two grants to get the plan into action.

COVID Support

Just as we kicked off the strategy, everything practically halted and COVID became our life for the remainder of the year. The MPO team did everything we could to gather information from Ministry of Health, Labour and OMAFRA to ensure members were able to navigate the daily changes that were coming at them. Quickly our COVID update section became the most visited spot on our website and many of you were joining us twice weekly for our COVID update calls.

Early in April we had daily update calls with OMAFRA about COVID. That transitioned to weekly and eventually monthly calls to keep the lines of communication open and to keep on top of any issues that arose. As a result, we were able to influence and keep on top of issues, ensuring meat plants were identified as essential services and that they had access to things such as PPE and antigen testing. MPO participated in the Minister’s roundtable discussions relating to post-covid recovery and economic development, and had the Minister join us several times through the year to update members on how OMAFRA was addressing COVID.

Interprovincial Trade

MPO also had significant contact with Agri-Food Canada, regularly discussing what was happening at provincial plants, and informing them of COVID related issues. Mid-year the Ministry announced a process for exemption to interprovincial trade restrictions in areas that were identified as having need. While this isn’t a permanent solution to interprovincial trade restrictions, it opens the door for further discussion in the future.

Workforce Development Strategy

Despite all that was going on with COVID, MPO was successful accessing funding from Ministry of Labour to address the sector’s long standing labour issues. The year long project created an industry advisory table, will develop a plan for addressing workforce challenges, and investigate how labour mobility may play a role in addressing rural and remote workforce needs. The project is set to finish by the end of 2021, with results and plan to be tabled by beginning of 2022.

COVID has been both a challenge and an opportunity. Of most importance is that it has shined a light onto our sector and MPO is demonstrating the solutions that we need to address the issues you face. At the end of the day, these proposed solutions, projects, and initiatives will only be successful if you are a part of the solution. As an industry association, we are only as good as the participation of the sum of our members. The more of you that participate and engage on these issues, the stronger our voice is. Please continue to reach out to us when you have a need, and when you have solution you think could help the sector.



2020 Financial Position

The audit of the Ontario Independent Meat Processors Association 2020 (Operating as Meat & Poultry Ontario) financial records was conducted by the firm MNP LLP in Waterloo. It is management’s responsibility for the preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations and for such internal control as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

In the Auditor’s opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Ontario Independent Meat Processors Association as of December 31, 2020, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations. Copies of the 2020 audited statements are available upon request.

Treasurer’s Notes:

As of December 31, 2020, the association held net assets of $582,196 with $350,000 internally restricted as an operating reserve to cover 75% of operating expenses. Below is a breakdown of revenue and expenses indicating the percentage of total budget. The operating deficit of $11,340 realized in 2020 was lower than the Board approved budget.


Revenue Membership fees Government assistance * Sponsorship and supporter program Project revenue Advertising Industry development Investment income Commissions for services Competition Miscellaneous revenue World Butcher Competition Conference and expo TOTAL
Wages Project expenses
and general Membership and promotion Professional fees Industry development
travel Competition Bank charges Insurance Marketing Amortization Directors' meeting Conference and expo TOTAL $463,657 $66,650 $62,381 $29,846 $15,831 $7,121 $6,437 $6,214 $4,705 $4,304 $4,183 $1,531 $1,025 $673,885 $463,612 $113,299 $64,827 $25,337 $11,079 $15,490 $15,112 $25,728 $6,366 $3,516 $11,850 $1,239 $10,530 $91,563 $859,548 20202019
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Detailstobeannounced... CONFERENCE April2022 RETURNINGIN2022 SAVETHEDATE October14-15,2022|NiagaraFallsOntario
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