2021 Meat & Poultry Ontario Annual Report

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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

Viscofan, Waterloo

Adam Hayward

Nesbitt’s Meat Market, Lindsay

Gerhard Metzger

Metzger Meats, Hensall

Kevin Stemmler

Stemmler Meats & Cheese, Heidelberg

Doris Valade

The Malabar Group Inc., Campbellville

Jeff Miedema

Townsend Butchers Inc., Simcoe

Dale Schefter

Schefter Poultry Processing Ltd., Gorrie

Doug Alexander

Leadbetter Foods Inc., Orillia



This past year, we were fortunate to celebrate over 40 years of service to our sector. In the first in-person event in almost 2 years, we honoured our Lifetime Members, and added one more star to the lineup with Richard Halenda. We recognized Business Member leadership in our Meat Industry Achievement Award (MIA) that went to King Cole Ducks. Our Associate Member Recognition Award (AMRA) recognized Viscofan for their outstanding contribution to our association.

In a record year for entrants (17 from across the province), we had 4 finalists battle it out in-person and live-streamed on social media (Facebook) for Ontario’s Finest Butcher competition. Paul Gentile from Metro took home the honour of Ontario’s Finest Butcher. The Hon. Lisa M. Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs not only joined us to kick off the Finals event but witnessed first-hand the talent and skill in our sector.

With success obtaining funding for 4 projects to help the sector move forward together, we are on our way to implementing the Meat and Poultry Growth strategy and measuring the potential of Ontario’s meat and poultry sector. We developed a Workforce Development plan to identify how we can help address labour shortages and established a technology roadmap to explore technology to increase efficiency with existing labour. Finally, we launched a project to look at how sustainability strategies could help differentiate and improve businesses.

I need to acknowledge the amazing team of people who help make this organization great. Melissa McDougall, for being the warm welcome for new members, and helping existing members navigate our registrations and services. Derek Boudreau, our eyes and ears on the ground who is largely responsible for getting you the information you need and connecting members to each other. Daphne Nuys-Hall, who is always ready to assist with technical and regulatory issues. April Jackman, our event, marketing, and communications ninja, who makes sure that we provide relevant content and events out to you throughout the year. I would also like to welcome Meghan Schmuck to the team, who will be our Office Manager, taking over the bookkeeping and day to day office management.



Executive Director

Franco Naccarato

(519) 763-4558 Ext. 224

Franco is responsible for the leadership and management of the association, working closely with all levels of government, agricultural and industry groups on issues that directly affect Members and their businesses.

Technical Director

Daphne Nuys-Hall

(519) 763-4558 Ext. 222

Daphne works on the regulatory aspect of the meat industry, providing regulatory and technical advice and assistance to individual member businesses. Daphne leads the industry development activities including MPO training workshops and technical bulletin.

Marketing and Communications Manager

April Jackman

(519) 763-4558 Ext. 225

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

Market SpecialistDevelopment

Derek Boudreau

(519) 635-9281

Derek’s responsibility is to be in the field building membership through recruitment, engaging our current members, and increasing involvement in MPO’s many programs, events, and training, while also assisting with questions and concerns.

Membership Coordinator

Melissa McDougall

(519) 763-4558 Ext. 221

Melissa is responsible for maintaining strong member relations and maintaining a current and accurate member database. Melissa manages updates for MPO’s website, supporter program deliverables, advertising content submissions and provides graphic design services to MPO members by request.

Office Manager

Meghan Schmuck

(519) 763-4558 Ext. 227

Meghan manages the day-to-day finance, maintaining our CRM and membership records, and providing ongoing administrative support to the MPO team.



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.

Social Media Overview

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.


Our industry page @MeatPoultryON is up 19% ending the year with 659 followers.

Our consumer page @OntarioMeatPoultry saw growth of 82 new followers.


Our industry account @MeatPoultryON increased 24% ending the year with 746 followers.

Our consumer account @HomegrownOn saw growth of 4%, closing out the year with 2175 followers.


MPO’s Instagram account @OntarioMeatPoultry, continues to see the largest amount of growth. Ending 2021 with a 26% increase in followers at 1184.


Followers we up 34% in 2021, finishing the year off with just over 1340 followers.


MPO’s Linkedin continues to attract new followers and ended the year with 683 followers and counting, a 46% increase in followers.



0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 7% Member by Type of Inspection Number of Employees WHERE OUR MEMBERS ARE LOCATED IN ONTARIO 64% 28% 0.01% Federal South Western Southern South Central Central Eastern Northern GTA Provincial Municipal Other 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 10% 11% 22% 11% 8% 4% 33% 1-9 10-19 20+ N/A Number of Employees Business Membership: 20+ Business Membership: 10- 20 Business Membership: <10 59% 18% 23% Membership Business Membership: <10 Affiliate Membership Business Membership: 20+ Associate Membership Business Membership: 10- 20 41% 16% 12% 25% 6% 39% 24% 29% 8%


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 (2011 – 2021)

Business Member

• Hayters Turkey Farm

• Charlie’s Meat and Seafood

• University of Guelph

Associate Member

• Canadian Butcher Supply

Associate Member Recognition Award (AMRA)

25 Year Member (1996-2020)

Business Member

• Abate Packers

• Domingos Meat Packers

• Sargent Farms



Full List of Winners: Lifetime Members

Richard Halenda (2021)

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

Canadian Butcher Supply (1996)

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)

Viscofan (2021)

Multivac (2020)

Reiser (2019)

VC999 (2018)

Handtmann Canada (2017)

Malabar Super Spice (2016)

Meat Industry Achievement Award (MIA)

King Cole Duck (2021)

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)



Celebrating 40 of Moving the Industry FORWARD

In 2020, Meat & Poultry Ontario is celebrated 40 years as the representative voice of Ontario’s independent meat and poultry processing sector. Although our association and industry have seen many changes and growth over the years, our foundation remains the same. Our organization is rooted in family, recognizing the people and businesses who proudly serve the communities they live and work in, across Ontario.

Here are some Memorable Moments in Our History

1979 1980’s 2010’s 1990’s


The Ontario Freezer Meat Association was founded in Port Perry Ontario, with Ron Deeth as Founding President. 1980 - On May 28, the founding AGM was held at Constellation Hotel in Toronto. 1990 Meat Industry Basics Quality Accreditation Program was launched, to the sector. 1986 - The organization was renamed Ontario Independent Meat Packers and Processors and 1986 - First Expo was held in May at the Valhalla Inn 1987 - Ron Usborne Product competition introduced with 4 categories judge and handed out same day 2014 Ontario’s Finest Butcher competition created, crowning Peter Baarda of Stoney Creek Ontario. 2018 Executive Director Laurie Nicol retires securing over $5.25 million of funding during her tenure. 2019 OIMP rebranded as Meat & Poultry Ontario 2002 Launch of the Food Handler Training Independent Study Program. 2007 Meat Industry Achievement Award (MIA) introduced with Leo Rocheleau as the 2008 Legal named changed to Ontario Independent Meat Processors. 2009 the product competition evolved into Ontario’s Finest Meat Competition, expanding the categories and number of entries. 1994 As our organization grew to 129 business members and 28 associate members, our Lifetime Member achievement was awarded to Ron Deeth.



FINALIST: Doug Easterbrook of Townsend Butchers, Simcoe

black jacket in the 2021 Ontario’s Finest Butcher Competition

Paul Gentile of Metro, Toronto took home the title of Ontario’s Finest in the finale held September 28 in Cambridge . Gentile is a first timer to the competition who battled his way through 16 of Ontario’s best butchers in an elimination round held on September 13, and was one of 4 finalists who moved on to the final round black box round.

The theme for this year’s final ‘black box’ round was ‘Game of Bones’ and Gentile, along with fellow finalists, had 30 minutes to transform a whole turkey, beef rib, and a shoulder of lamb into several mouth-watering, display-ready items. The finalists were judged on their level of skill, creativity and consumer-appeal. The three judges’ combined scores determined it was Gentile who would take home the title.

FINALIST: Christopher McNutt of Halenda’s Meats, Oshawa

FINALIST: Ricardo Sousa of Pavao Meats, Toronto

Special Thanks to our 2021 Event Partners:



In light of the pandemic restrictions, MPO hosted our first fully virtual event in 2021. 98 guests logged in to Industry Day, slightly increasing attendance from our 2019 event. The theme for the day was “Innovation in the Meat Sector” – with an agenda packed full of speakers and panelists bringing innovation solutions to our members.

As an add-on for the virtual event, our team curated a VIP event box that included member product and SWAG from our business and associate members – delivered directly to their door courtesy of Erb Transport. The box was a hit with attendees and significantly boosted the revenue for Industry Day.

The day kicked off with opening remarks from the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, followed by an Economic Outlook for the Meat Sector, presented by Craig Klemmer of Farm Credit Canada.

Stephene Ashikwe of Aon talked about some of the technology and automation opportunities in meat plants to help members streamline their operations

In our afternoon session, Kale Cowper of Malott Creek gave a presentation on the 5 core principles of lean manufacturing in meat plants.

The highlight of the day was the panel discussion “Rethinking Your Go-To Market Strategy’ exploring some of the business opportunities and challenges that have been accelerated for the meat sector during the pandemic. During this discussion members learned new ways to stay connected with customers and explore some of the solutions available to bridge the gaps.


Our bi-annual Meating Space conference was held virtually this year packed into a one-day event focused on virtual networking.

The event was a huge success with over 90 members logging in to watch the sessions and network with our 14 virtual TableTalk exhibitors. Engagement was high with a total of 990 booth visits, 270 direct messages amongst attendees, 259 product views, 137 video views and 33 white papers downloaded.




Strengthening Ontario’s meat and poultry 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 as many meat plants across the province in 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, 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 via email and telephone over 200 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, inspection issues, traceability, and corrective actions for adverse test results.

2021 Top Reg's

Ontario Regulation 31/05 - Meat

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations

Environmental Protection Act and Regulations

Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001

Health of Animals Act and Regulations

Occupational Health and Safety Act



Food Handler Training

MPO’s Food Handler Training program is one of only two that meet the requirements for training as required by Ontario Meat Regulation 31/05. Although MPO was unable to deliver our in-person workshops, we were able to proctor 56 food handler training exams and distributed 45 self-study manuals in various languages.

NEW in 2022

FHT Exams are now available online! Supervisor and Worker Exams in English are available to write online with additional languages being made available during the year. Please visit out website for more information.

Upcoming FHT Workshop Dates

June 15 - 16, 2022

November 16 – 17, 2022

Nutritional Analysis Service

MPO continued to provide this simple and cost-effective service which includes a detailed and comprehensive nutrition analysis, a report and camera-ready Nutrition Facts Panel. 41 Nutritional Analysis were performed for a variety of fresh and ready to eat meat products as well as some beverages, spice units, and sauces.

NEW in 2022

We have expanded our Nutritional Analysis service to include more options for processors. You can now select from the following option.

• Standard Nutrition Analysis

• Standard Nutrition Analysis with Ingredient Deck and Allergen Statement

• “Rush” Standard Nutrition Analysis

• “Rush” Standard Nutrition Analysis with Ingredient Deck and Allergen Statement


Agricultural Adaptation Council

Agri-Food Management Institute

American Association of Meat Processors

Canadian Meat Council

Farm and Food Care

Food and Beverage Ontario

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



As of December 31, 2021, the association held net assets of $580,323 with $350,000 internally restricted as an operating reserve. Below is a breakdown of revenue and expenses indicating the percentage of total budget. The operating deficit of $1,873 realized in 2021 was lower than the Board approved budget.

Revenue % $ Project Revenue $669,668 54% 16% 13% 6% 0% 4% 4% 2% 1% 0% 0% $192,301 $158,267 $69,362 $2,100 $54,129 $51,522 $25,335 $15,967 -$1,306 $1,237,345 $0 Membership Supporter Sponsorship Program Advertising Competition Government Assistance Commission for services Industry Development Conference and Expo Investment Income Miscellaneous Expenses % $ Projects $623,958 50% 36% 4% 3% 1% 1% 1% 2% 1% 1% 1% $443,182 $45,417 $33,618 $7881 $15,496 $16,614 $23,965 $10,953 $6270 $11,864 $1,239,218 -$1,873 Wages and MERCs Office and General Membership /Promotion Competition Professional Fees Industry Development Conference and Expo Marketing Travel Other Profit/Loss


Funded Project –Meat & Poultry Growth Strategy

In 2019 MPO introduced the Meat & Poultry Growth Strategy which identified barriers plants faced in growing their businesses. Labour, infrastructure, funding, leadership development and innovation were identified as priorities to address. This study looked to validate our initial theories and to paint the picture on the opportunities that existed so that we could develop some targets for the strategy.

This project is funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative. MPO was successful in obtaining funding to develop a strategy to increase capacity for Ontario’s meat sector.

To support its strategy, MPO undertook a research project identifying the potential for capacity growth in the Sector. More specifically the project looked to:

• Understand the current meat and poultry processing capacity in Ontario.

• Identify the estimated level of potential for capacity growth by Ontario meat and poultry processors, and the supports that would be most beneficial to processors to achieve such growth.

• Determine the current and future demand from Ontario farmers for meat and poultry packing services/capacity.

• Determine elements for a “hooks and heads” centralized reservation system for meat processing.

We learned that:

• Between 2010 and 2020, meat slaughtering at provincial inspected plants increased by 27%. At the same time, the number of licensed provincial abattoirs has declined by 23% over the same period.

• Many respondents to the Farmers survey (80%) indicated barriers to growing their livestock production. Most of the survey respondents (80%) suggested that the “availability of processing/slaughtering capacity” is a factor limiting growth in their livestock production.

• Growth capacity by commodity ranged from 22% for poultry, 50% for pork, 139% for beef, 152% for veal and 296% for sheep and goat.

• Approximately 61% of respondents indicated they could grow their sales revenues by over $1 million, while one-third (33%) expected they could increase revenues by over $5 million, if they receive all the additional supports they need.

• With a $40-50 million investment meat plants could increase revenues by $262-$324 million. That represents a 7:1 ROI

This project helped further define our targets for the Meat & Poultry Growth Strategy. And resulted in the following

• Help provide data to inform government on gaps and opportunities within the sector to provide timely updates on future funding programs.

• Identified there is more demand than capacity both on input side (farms) and output (consumer) side

• Helped us identify next steps of developing the strategy which include:

Focusing on Workforce Development (foreign and domestic strategies)

Developing the Meat-Tech Centre of Excellence –training future workforce and entrepreneurs, and helping technology companies create solutions for meat plants

Exploring new ways to get funding into the sector including funding programs, accessible loan programs, and attracting angel and private equity investors.



Funded Project – Workforce Development

This project is funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative. Building on workforce development best practices, this project seeks to develop an action plan and buy-in with industry employers to:

• Develop a strategy and action plan to enhance recruitment and training activities for new entrants to the industry, with a focus on job seekers having trouble in the labour market

• Enhance the skills of the incumbent workforce to build the sustainability, desirability retention and productivity of the workforce

• Enhance industry workforce practices to improve retention, worker advancement, engagement and skills

• Explore methods to support labour mobility to in-demand areas of the province.

The project saw the creation of the Meat & Poultry Inclusive Workforce Action Plan and the Meat and Poultry Industry Workforce Advisory Table. The advisory table set the following priorities for the plan to address:

1. Industry Career Promotion Campaign and Materials

2. Implement a Provincial Recruitment Strategy

3. Pilot a New Entrant Recruitment and Training Program

4. Create Education Partnership to Increase Exposure to careers

5. Enhance Employer Knowledge, Skills, and Practices Establish an Industry-Led Leadership Committee

Funded Project – COVID

We took on this project to explore how technology could be used to solve problems like labour shortages during COVID.

With the help of AON, we conducted Occupational Health and Safety Review and Business Continuity planning to assess current gaps and suggest potential technology solutions. The intention of the project was to help identify how MPO could provide supports in this area to help companies adopt technologies in the future.

MPO recognised that during this time of major operational challenges, there is a significant risk to the continuity of supply of meat and poultry produce between members, who have been affected by the pandemic, and the ability to continue to ensure continuity of supply to the province.

We hired AON to assess where we could make internal improvements to processes, training, and technology to limit the affects of COVID and minimize workforce gaps. This project is funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative. This allowed us to conduct the following activities:

• Research, evaluate and develop concept for Occupational Health and Safety protocol templates

• Determine business continuity recovery time objectives and identify innovative technologies that mitigate risk

• Training, distribution and promotion of resources

We learned that meat plants are mostly using technologies from 1998- 2008 and that there are a lot of things that need to happen before we introduce things like robotics and AI into the sector. A technology roadmap was developed as a next step to guide the sector how it can adopt new technologies in three phases.

Phase one – introduce existing technologies and provide assistance to plants to get them comfortable with technology. Phase two – introducing new technologies includes helping technology companies adapt for the meat sector and finding new solutions for meat processors.

Funded Project – Sustainability

The program focuses on addressing current challenges within the meat processing industry including climate risk, public trust, employee retention, energy consumption and food waste prevention. A purpose driven business strategy and action plan will be put in place and the partners will leverage a KPI Dashboard to track their related KPIs such as: GHG output, energy and water consumption, waste production, and circular inflow and outflow within the company, productivity and efficiency, employee engagement, and more. Project will be completed in 2022







Details to be announced... CONFERENCE April 2021 2021 UPCOMING EVENTS
THE DATE October 14 -15, 2022 | Niagara Falls Ontario
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