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Keeping Ontario’s Meat and Poultry Industry Informed

Fall 2021 • Vol. 27, Issue 3


A Rich and Meaty History


16 Ontario Veal

22 Innovations in the Meat Industry



The • • • • •

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BlockTalk - Fall 2021


Vol. 27, Issue 3


MULTIVAC - Processing and packaging what’s valuable

Recipe at

Adapting to the Changing Needs of the Veal Consumer

With a zesty tequila lime marinade and taco seasoning, veal scaloppini is infused with Mexican flavours and transformed into authentic Street Tacos.

These little pockets of deliciousness, created by Chef Ted Reader, are meant to be a snack but it is almost impossible to stop at one or two. Using veal scaloppini in this recipe cuts the marinating time from the the usual six hours plus to as little as 30 minutes. For the full taqueria experience serve with traditional toppings like refried beans, tomato salsa, pickled red onions and smashed avocado. You can save time and purchase the toppings pre-made or visit for the full recipe.


Presidents Message............................................................ 4 OVA-F&D Summer Ad - Final.indd 1

2021-05-19 10:14 AM

Welcome to the Association.............................................. 5 Member News..................................................................... 6 How Traceability is Modernizing Abattoirs...................... 8 College and University Interns Receive up to 100% of Salaries in Funding.................................. 12 Adapting to the Changing Needs of the Veal Consumer.................................................................. 16 Halenda’s A Rich and Meaty History............................... 20 Innovations in the Meat Industry.................................... 22 MULTIVAC - ‘Processing and packaging what’s valuable’................................................................. 24 Top 3 Agri-Food Business Grants and Innovative Funding Programs for 2021.......................... 26 I don’t need a business plan!........................................... 30 Why Workplace Screening is More


I don’t need a business plan!

Essential Than Ever........................................................... 34 Advertiser Index................................................................ 38 BlockTalk - Fall 2021



ometimes technology can be a scary word. It involves changing something that we have been doing for years. The phrase: “if its not broken, don’t fix it” comes to mind. But we all know that change is inevitable and sometimes the right piece of equipment/software can make all the difference in the world. Acknowledging this is a great start! I hope this issue of Block Talk will encourage you to make that change that you have been hesitant to do or at least begin the conversation. Change can be the start of something big. Go for it!

Carol Goriup, President


eat processing in Ontario (and for almost all North America) is far behind the technological advancements being used by other industries today. MPO recently completed a project that looked at where our industry is from a technology standpoint, and from our observations, our sector has not advanced past 2008 in terms of technology being used in most meat plants today. Considering that many industries are moving towards use of artificial intelligence, blockchain, robotics, and the Internet of Things there plenty of oppourtunities for our industry to adapt and evolve to improve processes. Considering our Meat and Poultry Growth strategy’s vision is to be world leaders in technology and innovation, we have a lot of work to do. Let’s be clear about expectations and what Technology can and cannot do for you. Technology can be an equalizer. Today’s technologies can help SMEs compete with bigger companies with more resources. Technology can help you work faster and smarter. Technology can improve efficiencies, boost productivity and give you a competitive advantage. These things have been proven so, but there are things technology cannot do. Technology will not implement itself. Technology will not improve your company culture. Technology is not a cut and paste solution. It is a tool and like all tools, it needs to fit the circumstances to be effective. Technology is not innovation. Innovation is what you do with things like technology to move your business forward. When used in the right situation, with the resources behind it, while aligning it with your business culture, technology can be a game changer. But the ingredient most central to success is YOU. You are in the driver seat, and if you have all the technology in the world to help you succeed it will not matter if you do not put it to work for your business. We hope this edition of BlockTalk will give you some inspiration for how you can use Technology to give you a competitive edge and drive success of your business. Franco Naccarato, Executive Director 4

BlockTalk - Fall 2021

VISION A sustainable, respectful and diverse food system that celebrates the nutritional and economic value of meat and poultry. MISSION We strengthen the meat and poultry industry in Ontario by connecting people, influencing change and empowering our members. MPO 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)

MPO LONG TIME MEMBERS Thank you to our long time members who have been helping move the industry forward for over 25 years. • Ontario Pork, Guelph (1980) • Gord’s Abattoir, Leamington (1982) • L’Orignal Packing, L’Orignal (1986) • MMIS/MONDO, Aurora (1986) • Nitta Casings, Markham (1986) • Walnut Hill Farms, Gads Hill (1986) • VG Meats, Simcoe (1987) • Rothsay, Dundas (1988) • Stemmler Meat & Cheese, Heidelberg (1988) • Chicken Farmers of Ontario, Burlington (1989) • Jetnet Norstar, Toronto (1989) • Schinkels’ Gourmet Meats, Chatham (1989) • Springer’s Meats, Hamilton (1989) • Barron Poultry, Amherstburg (1991)

• Brenner Packers, Windsor (1991) • Norwich Packers, Norwich (1991) • Weston Abattoir, Maidstone (1991) • Handtmann Canada, Waterloo (1992) • Hay’s Custom Cutting, Campbellford (1992) • Hoffman Meats & European Deli, Stayner (1992) • Newmarket Meat Packers, Newmarket (1992) • WIBERG Corporation, Oakville (1992) • Schinkel’s Legacy, Chatam (1993) • Windcrest Meat Packers, Port Perry (1994) • Malabar Super Spice, Burlington (1994) • R. Denninger Ltd., Hamilton (1995)

MEAT INDUSTRY ACHIEVEMENT (MIA) AWARD RECIPIENTS • 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)

ASSOCIATE MEMBER RECOGNITION AWARD (AMRA) RECIPIENTS Multivac Canada Inc., Brampton (2020) Reiser Canada, Burlington (2019) VC999, Saint-Germain-deGrantham (2018)

Handtmann Canada, Waterloo (2017) Malabar Super Spice, Burlington (2016)


Welcome to the Association


Building an informed and engaged membership representing a diverse Ontario meat and poultry industry. PACK3000 Canada Ltd Remi Boudot (819) 474-3830 2400 Canadian Street Suite 800 Drummondville, QC J2C 7W3 Farmersville Community Abattoir Ltd. Sarah Hunt (613) 924-0400 63 Addison Road Athens, ON K0E 1B0 Alpha Eagle Group Mohammad Shanid (905) 470-8806 mohammad@ 505 Apple Creek Boulevard Unit 1 Markham, ON L3R 5B1

Bruno’s Signature Keven Bruno (905) 509-3223 375 Kingston Road Unit 13 Pickering, ON L1V 1A3 UAdvisor Inc. Jay Chen (514) 641-1919 1401 Notre-dame West Street Montreal, QC H3C 4J6

BLOCKtalk is the official publication of the MPO, distributed to over 250 MPO members, commodity groups, and others throughout the industry, providing excellent advertising opportunities for suppliers of the meat and poultry industry to promote their newest, most innovative, supplies, equipment, and technology.

PAST PRESIDENT Cory Van Groningen VG Meats, Simcoe


BLOCKtalk encourages Associate Members and supporters of the industry to submit articles which would be beneficial to our members. ADVERTISING DEADLINES 2021 Spring January 22 Summer April 30 Fall July 30 Winter October 29

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VICE PRESIDENT Christine Hobson Halenda’s Fine Foods, Oshawa SECRETARY/TREASURER Kevin Schinkel Schinkel’s Legacy, Chatham DIRECTOR | Peter Baarda J&G Quality Meats, Burlington


Sojga Foods International Olusoji Adeyemi 30 Eddystone Avenue North York, ON M3N 1H4


PRESIDENT | Carol Goriup Florence Meats, Oakville


Polytarp Products Troy McCartan (416) 633-2231 x 239 350 Wildcat Road Toronto, ON M3J 2N5


DIRECTOR | Graham Dalziel ViscoFan, Markham DIRECTOR | Adam Hayward Nesbitt’s Meat Market, Lindsay DIRECTOR | Gerhard Metzger Metzger Meats, Hensall DIRECTOR | Kevin Stemmler Stemmler Meats & Cheese, Heidelberg DIRECTOR | Dale Schefter Schefter Poultry Processing Ltd., Gorrie DIRECTOR | Doris Valade The Malabar Group Inc., Campbellville DIRECTOR | Jeff Miedema Townsend Butchers Inc., Simcoe DIRECTOR | Doug Alexander Belmont Food Group, North York

The information published in BLOCKtalk is compiled from a variety of sources, which we believe to be reliable; however, MPO does not guarantee, and assumes no responsibility for the correctness of the information.

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BlockTalk - Fall 2021




he team at Stemmler Meats is excited to announce our Waterloo facility is now a federally inspected meat processing plant under Safe Food for Canadians licensing.

It has been a steady build over the past year providing copacking and new product R&D services to Ontario-based businesses and those outside Ontario looking to meet the demand in our provincial market. This growth made it apparent the next logical step was to move into the federal space and open the market from the east to west coast with items within our core capabilities including jerky, meat sticks, summer sausage, smoked sausage, and bacon. Kudos to the team that worked tirelessly to meet all federal requirements and thank you to CFIA for your direction and assistance in getting us here. We look forward to working with our inspectors and continuing to grow the business. If you need a federal co-manufacturer for a new product, or to extend your own capacity with a current product, please reach out to Heather Nahatchewitz, Director of Marketing and Sales, at or 519-998-6967.









BlockTalk - Fall 2021

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How Traceability is Modernizing Abattoirs By Joe O’Keefe, Account Manager, Carlisle Technology


veryone loves meat, but very few people understand what goes into the food manufacturing process. To accommodate and adapt to the never-ending demand for meat and poultry products, the industry has had to adjust rapidly. This article will provide a glimpse into the production processes and food safety measures of abattoirs in the past versus how modern-day abattoirs operate today. We will also focus on the importance of traceability, the usefulness of data collection, and operational efficiencies in the modern-day food plant.

The Historical Abattoir The abattoir emerged as a revolutionized institution in the nineteenth century. A combination of health and safety concerns, exacerbated by the rapid urbanization experienced during the Industrial Revolution, led social reformers to call for the isolation, sequester, and regulation of animal slaughter. Concerns were also raised about the lack of sanitization and the foodborne disease coming from abattoirs. Abattoirs previously had been lacking in critical elements that are imperative in today’s supply chain such as traceability, real-time production visibility, and sanitation standards for their plant floors. Processors were more focused on production volume and speed, to accommodate an ever-increasing demand for animal products. Current Abattoir’s Adoption of Traceability Today’s meat and poultry processing industry is much different and has evolved from 30-40 years ago. Population growth, globalization, and an ever-growing demand for products such as beef, poultry, chicken, fish, continue to drive growth and expansion for the era of the mega-plant in North America. Present-day abattoirs are becoming increasingly better equipped to incorporate cutting, processing and packing departments, deep freeze units, and warehousing. One of the main reasons for this shift is government-mandated action. Due to a long history of recalls, food safety issues, public health concerns, and no viable way of preventing them, traceability has become the solution. Since the passage of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, the FDA has shifted its food safety and food traceability approach. The new proposed set of regulations is part of the FDA’s New Era Blueprint. This blueprint emphasizes the importance of food traceability, and a processor’s responsibility to collect and pass along relevant information that can be used in the event of a food recall. For a comprehensive look at the new proposed rules, check out the FDA’s website food-safety-modernization-act-fsma/fsma-proposed-rule-foodtraceability. 8

BlockTalk - Fall 2021

Why is Traceability Needed? Traceability is needed for recall management, investigation into plant and animal disease, efficiency and productivity improvements, cost and waste reduction, better supply chain management, and ability and access to new markets. Traceability has become the cornerstone of a modern-day food plant. Benefits of Traceability include: • Improved accuracy and access of information when responding to quality and food safety issues or incidents. • Quality Recall Management • Enhanced reporting and response to disease outbreaks which causes and reduced impact upon markets and operation. • Increased efficiencies with record-keeping and tracking of costs related to labour, productivity, and waste. • Tighter inventory control and improved logistics for achieving a competitive edge. • Access new and retain existing markets by meeting expectations for product tracking and verifications of claims. • Real-time data collection and the availability of historical data. • Access to accurate and timely data for better decision-making. Traceability Provides Abattoirs with Actionable Data In the era of big data, data collection is one of the prime benefits of a traceability system. Food plants can run leaner, more efficient plant-floor operations. Having accurate carcass yield data is the key to providing producers with valuable insight. Even a small amount of waste can result in large product loss. Therefore, yield reporting and analysis are a huge part of the production manager’s daily function. Thus, collecting data at key production points and making sense of the data for yield management can improve plant performance. This information can be arranged into visual data dashboards to allow managers to make more informed decisions. How Technology Strengthens Traceability With the implementation of a fully integrated traceability system, the food plants have streamlined their plant-floor operations by implementing modernized, high-accuracy solutions. These include: • Static/In-Motion Conveyor Lines • Mobile Handheld Computers • Print and Apply Systems • ERP System • Warehouse Management System • Manufacturing Execution System

Continued on page 10

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Continued from page 8 – H  OW


While strides have been made within the food industry, many abattoirs have still not implemented and utilized modernized technology to optimize their plant floor. A typical traceability solution designed to capture slaughter and animal/carcass information on the kill floor will integrate multiple components. Plant floor MES, WMS, ERP software, live animal scales, carcass rail scales, RFID tag readers, barcode scanners, label printers, and weighing/labeling software all need to be integrated to make one complete solution. It’s easy to see the value in adopting a modern integrated solutions that can help capture Kill Floor data and track carcasses through slaughter and further processing. The data collected provides valuable information back to the abattoir or processor, and it gives them full visibility into the history of each carcass or receiving lot. The Future for Abattoirs is in Automated Traceability The future for Abattoirs is the adoption of technology and the implementation of efficient processes in manufacturing. Transparency and visibility on a Kill Floor are vital to helping abattoirs survive. They regularly face an obstacle course of government auditors, producer demands, religious ceremonial

requirements, and political activists. Therefore, a fully integrated traceability system that does data capture as well as streamline operations can be a real lifeline to an abattoir facility. By implementing an integrated traceability system, abattoirs can have real-time information about every animal or animal lot that has been processed through its facility. This is imperative for Abattoirs looking to aggressively, expand from their market, supply their products to larger distributors, and maintain operational efficiency. Plant traceability solutions give the processor or abattoir complete product traceability from animal receiving to the sale of the final product. A fully integrated traceability solution is a long-term investment. While it may seem costly at first sight, the long-standing benefits outweigh the initial concern. This type of system elicits improved efficiency, clear ROI, streamlined operations, and 360-degree traceability and vision into the plant floor operations. Simply put, a traceability system modernizes your plant and empowers your decision making by providing actionable data. Abattoirs are the backbone of the food industry. The evolution and modernization of their plant-floor operations are not only critical to achieving success, but they are also critical to the industry.

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College and University Interns Receive up to 100% of Salaries in Funding By Bonny Koabel CPA, CGA


ood Industry organizations with the assistance of Federal Government funding have just launched a funding program of up to $7,500 to assist Food Processors with hiring College and University students for work placements. The new funding program is called CareerNOW! and seeks to link Employers with College and University students for work placements. Paid work placements are beneficial for both Employers and Students - the Student gets valuable work experience and may receive credit from the College or University for their work placement, and the Employer gets the assistance they need at a reduced cost. In order to qualify for funding the Employer must hire a College or University student for 16 consecutive weeks. What types of Co-op Students can I hire? CareerNOW! is opened to students in all fields of student including – Computer Science, Engineering, Food Science, Human Resources, IT, and Marketing. CareerNOW! students are able to fill a variety of roles in Food Processing facilities including IT and tech support, to website development, internet marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Quality Control and Engineering Support, Sales Support and branding.

How do I get started with the CareerNOW! Funding Program? If you are interested in using the CareerNOW! Funding Program here are the steps: 1. Th  e Employer will need to complete the online application and assign an individual in their company as an Onsite Contact for the next steps. Here is the application link: https://magnet. 2. Once your application and needs assessment survey are reviewed and deemed acceptable the employer participation will be confirmed. 3. Once the application is approved the Employer you will receive an Employer Commitment letter and package for signing. 4. Once the Employer funding is approved the Employer is now ready to hire a College or University student for 16 weeks. 5. After the College or University student has completed their work placement the funding will be sent to the Employer. Additional Co-op Salary Funding of up to $3,000 In order to qualify for an additional $3,000 in funding the Employer will need to hire a College or University Student in a Co-op Program. As part of the College or University Co-op program students are required to work at least 16 weeks every year in paid work placement. If you are looking to hire a College or University Co-op Student here is a list of some of the Colleges and Universities in Ontario to contact in order to find students for work placements:

Specialists in Government Funding to the Food Industry including CAP, Hiring Grants, SR&ED, Energy Savings and Training Grants. Call us and find out how you can start saving money AKR CONSULTING CANADA INC. 151 Courtneypark Drive West, Suite #100 Mississauga, ON L5W 0A5 T: (905) 678-6368 | F: (905) 677-1700

Colleges Centennial Niagara

Fawshawe Seneca

Universities Brock McMaster Queens University of Toronto Western

Carlton University of Ottawa Ryerson Waterloo Wilfred Laurier

Job Placement Requirement in order to Qualify for Funding In order for the students work placement to qualify for the additional Co-op Salary Funding of $3,000, the work placement must meet all of the following conditions: • the Student must perform employment duties related to their field of study • the work placement must be pre-approved by the Student’s school • the placement must be for a period of 16 weeks • the Company must agree to supervise and evaluate the job performance of the Student Continued on page 14


BlockTalk - Fall 2021

We can’t wait to see you in person at Process Expo.

Our team has so many innovative applications to show you. Come visit Reiser at Process Expo | Chicago | November 2-5, 2021 | Reiser Booth 15013 Reiser Canada • Burlington, ON • (905) 631-6611 Reiser • Canton, MA • (781) 821-1290 Reiser UK • Milton Keynes, Bucks • (01908) 585300 2021

BlockTalk - Fall 2021


Continued from page 12 – C  OLLEGE


• the School must monitor the Student’s performance in the placement • the School must certify the placement as a qualifying work placement • the Student must be paid for the work performed What amount of Government Funding do I qualify for? CareerNOW! Students qualify for 2 types of funding: 1) CareerNOW! funding - is 50% of the Student’s salary to a maximum of $5,000. The subsidy is increased to 75% to a maximum of $7,500 for Employers hiring Students from under-represented groups including: • Women studying Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths (STEM), or business • Indigenous students • Visible minorities • Recent immigrants (within 5 years) • Persons with disabilities • Students in their first year of study, or • Students on their first work-term (relevant to their field of study) 2) Co-op Salary Refunds - a refundable tax credit up $3,000 is available per Co-op Student per work term refundable 3 years. A company can hire multiple Co-op Students at one time, and qualify for funding for each placement.

Total cost to the Employer Here is the cost breakdown for an Employer hiring a College or University Student Co-op Student and using CareerNOW! funding: Co-op Student Wages 16 weeks x 40 hours/week x $16/hour = $10,240 CareerNOW! Funding Maximum = 7,500 Co-op Salary Refund Maximum = 3,000 240 As a result of hiring the College or University student for the work placement the Employer is actually in a cash positive position of $240 after using both funding programs and is only out of pocket payroll taxes to the Government. Work Placement Terms If you are interested in hiring a Co-op student through CareerNOW! the student work terms are: • Winter (January – April) • Summer (May – August) • Fall (September – December) Students can be employed full-time or part-time hours, and you can apply for consecutive placement periods with the Student. Students must be employed as an employee and tax deductions must be made. Students cannot be hired as a freelancer consultant under these funding programs. Bonny Koabel CPA, CGA is President of AKR Consulting Canada a Mississauga, ON firm specializing in Government Grants, Subsidies, Tax Credits, Refunds and Rebates since 2003.

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BlockTalk - Fall 2021



BlockTalk - Fall 2021


Adapting to the Changing Needs of the Veal Consumer By Jennifer Haley, Executive Director


ver the course of the past eighteen months, everyone involved in the food industry has had to pivot, change, and adapt not only to the direction provided by health officials but also to the changing needs of the consumer. And what does the Ontario veal industry do with their marketing campaigns when you have a premium product that is typically consumed in restaurants and those same restaurants are shut down due to a global pandemic? We pivot too. Veal Farmers of Ontario (VFO) has been targeting and teaching consumers to enjoy veal at home. We have been supporting the beleaguered foodservice industry by promoting all the veal take out, and when available, patio dining. And of course, we have been working with butchers and retailers to make sure local Ontario veal is available in-store and in the consumer’s grocery cart.

We all know that the consumer wants what it wants. It is our job to provide the inspiration for a veal meal or ignite the craving that they have for a yummy veal sammie. A Deloitte consumer research study suggests that the consumer has ‘dueling personalities’- they want the pandemic to end but they do not want to return to the way things used to be. Deloitte’s research also shows the return of the ‘homemade meal’ as a generation now has learned how to cook. This can be good news for the Canadian veal sector as more consumers feel comfortable cooking at home and making more elaborate meals than just a grilled cheese sandwich. Consumers also indicate that they are more creative when cooking at home and have become more indulgent with their grocery shopping- partially offset from not eating out as much anymore. To support the consumer, and to get more veal on the grill, VFO has partnered with Chef Ted Reader for another great summer promotion. With nine new veal recipes with stepby-step instructions from the Godfather of the Grill himself, consumers are inspired to get BBQing with Ontario veal. Delicious veal meatballs, burgers, chops, and kebabs are featured on Chef Reader’s and the Ontario Veal Appeal social channels, websites, and our bi-weekly consumer e-newsletter


BlockTalk - Fall 2021

Partnering with the LCBO’s popular Food & Drink magazine, VFO spiced up the pages of the summer issue with Chef Reader’s authentic taqueria style Ontario Veal Street Tacos recipe. We have also partnered with local media outlets to provide veal recipes and cooking tips in print media and have been showcased in a number of TV segments hosted by celebrity chefs across the province. Look for our featured veal recipe in the Holiday issue coming out late this fall. Honouring our Local Veal Sandwich Makers This fall, VFO will be launching a special campaign that will feature the finalists and winners of previous years of the very popular Ontario’s Best Veal Sandwich contest. We had to put the popular contest on hold for 2020 and 2021 but we know consumers are craving their veal sammies. VFO wants to put a spotlight on the incredibly hardworking restaurant families who have faced so many challenges while navigating the uncertainty of Covid-19 and yet keep feeding their customers throughout it all! Launching right after Labour Day and continuing until early November, we will be releasing videos, interviews and social media content that features all of our favourite sandwich makers. Many of these family run, small businesses are just like our farmers- hardworking and dedicated to producing great products- and we want to highlight all the great veal sandwiches and bring media attention to our local food heroes. And of course, our favourite celebrity veal sandwich judge- John Catucci- will also join us!

Game on: Search of Ontario’s Best Veal Sandwich returns in 2022 After a break due to pandemic restrictions, the very popular consumer campaign- the Search for Ontario’s Best Veal Sandwich will return once again in 2022! The contest will be launching early in the new year so reach out to VFO to learn how you and your customers can be involved and benefit from this exciting competition that brings out the most passionate and vocal veal sammie lovers. Ensure you are on our email list so that you have the latest updates and all the information you need. We need your help spreading the word to all your customers- let us know if you need us to put together some custom communications- we all win from increased veal sales! The Ontario and Canadian veal sector has no choice but to take notice of these shifts in consumer preference and figure out a way, together with our supply chain partners, to chart a path forward that meets the needs of our consumers, makes veal offerings available consistently at retail, inspires them to include veal in their regular rotation of meals, and creates a craving for veal take out. The future of the industry is more complex than ever before and how we continue to adapt will be the key to maintaining demand for veal moving forward. Have an idea or want to work together to create a program for your customers- how can we help? Contact us to discuss how we can promote Ontario veal together. For more information, please contact me at the VFO office 519-824-2942 or Make sure to follow and share all the great things about Ontario veal with your followers: @ontariovealappeal @ontariovealappeal @ontvealappeal

BlockTalk - Fall 2021


Zippy Parmesan Veal Sandwich

The whole family will love making this quick an easy recipe. Add more hot sauce to the mix for a little extra zip! Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 12 minutes Servings: 4 Ingredients • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh toasted breadcrumbs • 1/4 cup (50 mL) grated Parmesan cheese • 1 tbsp (15 mL) each minced fresh Ontario Parsley and Basil • Salt and pepper • 1 large Ontario Egg • 1 tbsp (15 mL) milk • 1/4 cup (50 mL) all-purpose flour • 1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder • 4 Ontario Veal Leg Cutlets (about 12 oz/375 g) • 2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil • 3 green onions, thinly sliced • 1/4 cup (125 mL) mayonnaise • 1 tsp (5 mL) hot sauce • 4 ciabatta buns, cut in half • 4 Ontario Greenhouse Lettuce Leaves • 4 slices Ontario Pepper-Jack Cheese • Ontario Greenhouse Tomato Slices Instructions In large shallow dish such as a pie plate, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. In second shallow dish, combine egg and milk. In third shallow dish, combine flour and garlic powder. Set aside. Working with 1 cutlet at a time, dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip in egg mixture. Dip in bread crumb mixture, turning to coat and lightly pressing. Let stand on a wire rack to dry for 5 minutes. In large nonstick skillet and in two batches, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook cutlets until crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Meanwhile, in bowl, stir together green onions, mayonnaise and hot sauce. Spread buns with mayonnaise mixture. Top with lettuce, cheese, veal and tomato slices.should reach 170°F (77°C). Nutritional information • Protein: 38.0 grams

• Fat: 33.0 grams

• Carbohydrates: 58.0 grams

• Calories: 679

• Fibre: 3.0 grams


BlockTalk - Fall 2021

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Halenda’s A Rich and Meaty History By Stacey Newman


alenda’s Meats is an award-winning, pioneering meat processor with locations across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Founded by Michael and Doreen Halenda as M&D’s Meats, the couple and their five children would sell small batches of smoked meat at the Oshawa Flea Market in 1977.

In 1979, the family rented a store in Oshawa in a building they would later own. They immediately built a sausage-making kitchen. They then went on to open multiple brick-and-mortar stores while continuing to process the smoked meat products they would become famous for.

Today the business is steered by their son, Richard, and the family name is known across Ontario for their award-winning Kobassa, Halenda’s fundraising Pepperoni sticks and other award-winning charcuterie and dry-cured products.

They took their sausages to St. Jacob’s, which is one of the busiest food markets in the province. Says Halenda: “Most of the vendors were from the Kitchener, Waterloo area. The sausage makers while having slightly different styles from us were also proud artisan producers.” Halenda says the family was well accepted there, which left them feeling ambitious.

Richard Halenda says his career in the business began around 1977. His father was of Ukrainian heritage, having immigrated to Canada in 1951, as a trained shoemaker (shoe repair would not turn out to be a lucrative business in Canada). Instead as a people person with a propensity for foods, he took a sales position for a small, high-quality sausage maker. “Dad worked with them through to 1977,” says Halenda. “Dad saw a business opportunity in Oshawa. He figured that with so many people of Ukrainian and Polish descent, (he was fluent in both of these languages) in this region and armed with the family Kobassa recipe, he was going to open up a stand in the Oshawa Farmers market, and he’d like me to help him,” explains Halenda. That was how it all began.

The food processing industry in the Durham region was unlike the western GTA. Probably, guesses Halenda, due to the automotive influence—it was GM’s heyday in Oshawa. The Halenda family business was popular and expansive— from storefronts to sausage kitchens, to the opening of larger processing facilities, the family successfully operated across the Durham region. In 2011 Halenda’s had expanded westward with the opening of a storefront in Mississauga, and into fermented meats like salamis following the purchase of an existing meat maker providentially named “Richard & Sons.” When the family opened its first store, there were six of them serving; exactly what his father envisioned. At that time, their marketing strategy was little more than word-of-mouth, with growth propelled by the increasing demands of regular customers. “I don’t think we advertised in the local paper [until] the nineties,” laughs Halenda. Today Halenda’s has seven locations, as well as two Halenda/ Meat Depot plants, one in Oshawa and the newest in Etobicoke. A number of Halenda’s Meats products are also sold as a part of a local program at select Metro, Foodland, Sobeys and Fortinos locations. Through the


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Meat Depot, Halenda products are also available at over 100 independent grocers and delicatessens throughout Ontario. The new ‘Brydon’ plant Halenda’s new 40,000 sq. ft. plant on Brydon Drive in Etobicoke was fully realized just as the pandemic hit. Halenda and team took this in stride, taking time to get all of their ducks in a row. The state-of-the-art plant is set to supply customers with highest quality meats while featuring advanced processing and storage technologies. Halenda says he was incredibly lucky to work closely with the designers of the new plant. He was particularly concerned about refrigeration. Smaller operations typically employ Freon gas to control refrigeration. “Everywhere that you’re packaging food or preparing it, you want to hold a temperature of about four degrees Celsius,” says Halenda. Which is also a comfortable enough temperature for people to work at.

Halenda’s has been an MPO member since 2006, Richard was a proud border member—a position his daughter has also held. The company has been serving high-quality meat products for more than 40 years. Halenda remains proud of his family’s rich history and contributions to the industry and the community. He maintains an admirable curiosity and the will to discover and employ innovative practices and technologies. 915 Nelson Street Oshawa, L1H 5N7 (905) 576-6328 ext 225 @HalendasMeats @HalendasMeats @halendasmeats

A technology consultant suggested that Halenda consider glycol for processing chillers. These are industrial refrigeration systems that use a type of antifreeze called glycol, mixed with water, to lower the freezing point in the application of the chilling system. This is just one of the innovations that Halenda is excited about. It affords a level of unprecedented control and efficiency.

BlockTalk - Fall 2021



Innovations in the Meat Industry By Daphne Nuys-Hall, Meat & Poultry Ontario


nnovation is a term frequently used in the food manufacturing industry when discussing process improvements, automation, solutions to overcome labour challenges and even developing new products.

What is innovation? Many abattoirs and meat processing businesses contact Meat & Poultry Ontario when new government funding is released wanting to know if their project or idea fits the definition of innovation. Is it innovative to the industry or just to their business? Innovation is a process to bring new ideas, new methods or new products to an organization which when implemented lead to positive effective change. Often businesses mistakenly believe that for something to be considered innovative it has to be big and fundamentally change how the business operates. However, innovation can be about the small changes that can solve problems to improve product quality and overall productivity. There are many types of innovations your business can implement. Whichever way you look at it, the important thing to remember about innovation is

that it should increase your company or product’s value in the marketplace. Improved Use of Technology or Automation Meat processing facilities are slow to adopt robotics they can be expensive, sanitation can be difficult, and boning and trimming of meat cuts requires dexterity and finesse that can only be achieved by humans. However, as the technology improves and the costs come down, the use of robotics will become increasingly popular. However, automation doesn’t have to be big or complicated or expensive. Evaluate your current processes. Are there areas where innovative solutions could be utilized to improve production efficiencies, reduce labour or improve product quality? Once you have your list, prioritize potential innovations depending on where you think you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Narrow in on the two or three ideas you think are most worth digging into, testing, and refining. Work with staff, consultants or suppliers to test and implement the innovative idea or product. Packaging Technologies The main priority of packaging meat is the ability to deliver a fresh product to customers. In the meat industry, the packaging

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is as important as the contents themselves. Packaging markets the product, prolongs shelf life, and facilitates long-distance transportation. There have been new innovations that elevate packaging to not only enhance packaging’s initial purpose but also meet consumer’s demand for a more sustainable package that contains more information. For example, technology-enabled packaging or “smart packaging”, such as the use of NFC chips or printed QR codes, is a clever way to package products. Technology can now be embedded right into the packaging to provide the consumer with more convenience, security, and information. Smart packaging can also track several parameters like pH, temperature, fermentation to ensure freshness, flavour, quality, and maintain compliance with health standards. Over the last few years, food packaging has become greener. The push for eco-friendly solutions has driven companies to ditch single-use plastics and provide biodegradable, recyclable or reusable packaging. “84% of consumers are willing to pay an additional amount of up to INR 3 for sustainable packaging” Packaging and Consumer Behaviour: 2020 Innovative New Products Now, more than ever, consumers are demanding healthier foods with fewer ingredients and minimal processing. Ingredient suppliers are developing novel alternatives to existing

ingredients, processing aids and compounds currently used meat processing to satisfy these consumer demands, e.g. replacing nitrites with cultured celery powder. Developing products using alternative sources of proteins can also regarded as a type innovation. Insect protein could replace or supplement beef, chicken, pork, and lamb. Insect protein tends to contain about 60% protein, is packed with vitamin B12, and has more calcium than milk. It also has more iron than spinach and can supply a person with all the essential amino acids their body needs. Plant-based proteins could also be used to supplement protein in a meat product as an innovative alternative. The core of any innovation in your meat business is really your team. Smart businesses encourage their employees to think creatively, always. Set up a means for employees to bring their innovative ideas to the table, whether it’s a suggestion box, employee meetings or one-on-ones to brainstorm ideas. Employees are the eyes and ears of the operation. They work with the products and processes and have an intimate knowledge of how things work and potentially how things can be improved. Meat & Poultry Ontario’s Associate Members can help you with your innovation. Whether it’s new product development, a new process or piece of equipment, or even how to find and access funding, they are here to help. The complete list of suppliers can be found at


rabbit, Cornish hens, roaster chickens, bbq chickens, pheasant, partridge, guinea hen, duck, goose, quail 7597 Jones Baseline, Arthur On, N0G 1A0 | TEL: 1-800-692-2283 BlockTalk - Fall 2021



‘Processing and packaging what’s valuable’ By Stacey Newman


ultivac is a name known across the world for its processing and packaging solutions. MPO members will recognize Multivac as a key supplier of integrated equipment solutions for the meat processing industry.

Phil Crozier is the market development manager for Multivac Canada.

Phil Crozier is a packaging and On the equipment side, the company offers two new labellers, processing specialist. With including a full wrap version which is particularly effective over 25 years in packaging, he at replacing cardboard sleeves and for use on skin packs, plus worked for Multivac UK before a blow-on labeller aimed at meat and poultry skin packs, in recently being appointed as particular, usually removing one or two production line personnel. market development manager for Multivac Canada. Crozier has “We have also upgraded our remote assistance package a lot to say about Multivac—the and launched a brand-new self-service online portal called company, its history, and the myMultivac which provides our customers with instant access future of packaging for the meat to spares, manuals, machine history, service records, parts order and poultry industry in particular. tracking and more,” says Crozier.

Multivac is a private, family-run company started in Germany in 1961 that now boasts 85 subsidiaries worldwide, with the Canadian subsidiary having been established in 2007.

“Our company started out in a tiny facility in Germany exactly 60 years ago manufacturing packaging machinery for small, local butchers. I’ve worked for the business for over 22 years on two different continents now, and it’s an amazing company to work for. It’s managed to retain the familiarity of a family-owned company whilst achieving staggering growth that any publiclyowned business would be envious of. It’s a stable, well-managed and invested, world-class, global company that’s a destination employer for our colleagues and a long-term partner for customers,” says Crozier. Crozier says that the meat and poultry industry is exciting, describing it as “a fast-paced, constantly changing and challenging market,” and he doesn’t see that changing anytime soon. “The manufacture and supply of packaging equipment remains a large part of our core business today, especially for the raw and cooked, chilled protein manufacturing sectors. We also serve the processing and portioning demands of meat and poultry companies too,” says Crozier. Of his personal philosophies, Crozier believes in “working hard, setting his own bar higher than anyone else’s, and he aims to always over-deliver.” He offers an important piece of advice for those starting out or facing career challenges: “Hire good people; trust them to do their job and support them so that they can.” What’s coming down the pike? The future, post-pandemic, includes helping customers tackle such diverse issues as labour shortages and environmental commitments; to produce faster, more flexible equipment with a shorter return on investment, a degree of automation and better packaging, and he says Multivac is up to the challenge. 24

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According to Crozier, Multivac has launched a number of new products this year including a new tray sealer and a new belt-fed vacuum chamber machine, both of which are aimed at small to medium-sized meat processors and food manufacturers.

Sustainability: Sustainable business also means cost management. Packaging solutions from Multivac offer reliable protection for all food products, and they ensure the optimum shelf life and hygiene are achieved throughout the entire logistical chain. The company promotes sustainability as a key business driver. Aiming for the smallest possible use of materials and resources when producing food packs of every type, Multivac also promotes the development of new packaging materials from mono films and renewable materials, to offer customers a wide range of packaging solutions with the maximum recyclability. Customer service and partnerships: Multivac offers comprehensive support across Canada in developing customer projects, from the very first discussions right through to aftersales service—covering the whole process chain with innovative, high-performance, and cost-effective solutions for processing and packing food products. The Multivac product range is reportedly the widest in the market. Whether offering innovative solutions for thermoforming packaging, packing in trays and film pouches, as well as automatic loading, together with its belt systems and boxing units, Multivac has been among the most successful suppliers in the global market for decades. As for supporting meat and poultry processors: Crozier explains that aligning with MPO members is vital because, he says, “MPO plays a critical role across the province in representing and leading Ontario’s meat industry, enabling it to thrive and grow so that it can reach its full potential whilst its members are kept well informed and supported themselves.”

Do more, spend less! We understand the challenges you have in recruiting and retaining your workforce. Using machinery to free up valuable labour, to utilise elsewhere in your business, isn’t a new idea of course. But from simple, cost-effective entry-level packaging, inspection and labelling solutions to fully automatic systems, at MULTIVAC Canada we have a range of equipment to suit products and businesses of all shapes and sizes. Interested? Talk to our team today to see how we can help your business do more with less.

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1-877-264-1170 BlockTalk - Fall 2021


Top 3 Agri-Food Business Grants and Innovative Funding Programs for 2021 By Alena Barreca, Marketing Coordinator, Mentor Works


anada’s federal and provincial governments provide funding in the form of grants and/or repayable contributions to many industries across the country, including billions of dollars allocated exclusively for the agriculture sector. These government funding programs for agri-food businesses support key strategic priorities, including agricultural research, export, trade, and adoption or adaption of new practices and technologies.

The top three programs discussed in this article are currently available for agriculture businesses and focus on supporting innovation and economic growth. By funding projects that develop advanced technologies and processes as well as promote fair hiring practices, businesses can enhance the health and safety of their workplace, improve operational productivity, and help to grow Canada’s agriculture sector on a global scale. The Poultry and Egg On-Farm Investment Program (PEFIP): Grants for Canada’s Poultry and Egg Producers The newly announced Poultry and Egg OnFarm Investment Program (PEFIP) is a federal government funding program which will provide non-repayable grant contributions of nearly $647 million over 10 years to eligible Canadian poultry and egg producers. Funding will help supply-managed poultry and egg producers adapt to market changes resulting from the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

• Have held quota/ shares of provincial production on Jan. 1, 2021; and • Be one of the following types: • Poultry and/or egg producers holding quota; • Poultry and/or egg producers licensed, or equivalent, by a provincial marketing agency; • Atlantic Canada Hatching Egg Producers; or • Poultry and/or egg producers under new entrants’ programs with loaned quota and/ or whole-farm leases with loaned quota at the time of calculation. Eligible Projects The PEFIP program will support on-farm investments in: • Improving environmental sustainability • Increasing efficiency or productivity • Improving on-farm food safety and biosecurity • Responding to consumer preferences (such as improving animal welfare, adopting alternative housing systems, transitioning to organic production, etc.)

“Technology and modern equipment make today’s farms more efficient and safer, both for people and the environment.”

Funding Amount • Up to a maximum of 70% of eligible costs for majority of applicants. • Up to 85% of eligible project costs for Young Producer(s) who were 35 years old or younger on January 1, 2021. The funding allocations will be divided as such: • $76.9 million for turkey producers • $88.6 million for broiler hatching egg producers • $134 million for egg producers • $347.3 million for chicken producers Eligible Applicants To be eligible, an applicant must be a: • Legal entity capable of entering agreements;


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- Peggy Brekveld, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture Program Timeline • Applications will be accepted until March 31, 2030. • Applicants have the flexibility to seek funding for eligible activities that started on or after March 19, 2019. The Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program: Federal Grants for Cleantech Innovation Projects The Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program is a $190-million investment that aims to help support the purchase and installation of clean technology as well as the research and development of clean agriculture technologies. This can be an excellent funding program to assist agri-food businesses with energy efficiency improvements or green energy installations at production or processing facilities.

Continued on page 36

Get it right. Go Klever!

Travaglini Klever Equipped is the North American distributor of Fessmann and Travaglini food processing solutions. We specialize in heat-treatment and air-circulation equipment with the following functions: smokehouses, cooking, fermenting, chilling, drying, clean rooms, pollution control by electrostatic filters, as well as air treatment by germicidal UV lamps in a variety of applications. We offer a wide range of service, support, and expert advice to improve your product and process.

BlockTalk - Fall 2021 27 905-532-0330 | |

Continued from page 38 – TOP


Funding Amount • Funding towards for-profit applicants will cover up to 50% of eligible expenses as a grant. For not-for-profits, available contributions increase to a maximum of 75% cost coverage as a grant. • If projects under the Research and Commercialization stream will result in profit generation, then the funds may be provided on a repayable (loan) basis. • Additional funding may be available for organizations or businesses owned or led by under-represented groups (youth, women, indigenous groups, visible minorities, and persons with disabilities). • Minimum project size of $50,000, with maximum contributions of up to $2M per project. Eligible Applicants • For-profit organizations, including farm businesses and agrifood processors; • Not-for-profit organizations, including co-operatives; • Individuals, sole proprietors; and • Indigenous groups. Eligible Projects • Adoption Stream: Projects should focus on the measurable reduction in GHG emissions through proven technologies or

retrofits, focusing on green energy and efficiency, precision agriculture to manage input use and nutrient management, and agricultural waste management or bio-product generation. • Research and Innovation Stream: Projects should focus on the commercialization and development of clean technologies that are near market ready and will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to current practices, focusing again on green energy and efficiency, precision agriculture to manage input use and nutrient management, and agricultural waste management or bio-product generation. Program Timeline • This program is accepting new applicants on a continuous basis. • The ACT Program Adoption Stream only accept Project Summary Forms but for funding activities starting as of April 1, 2022. The Jobs and Growth Fund: Federal Funding for Jobs and Long-Term Sustainability The federal Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) is a new $700 million federal government funding program that aims to strengthen local Canadian economies with long-term growth opportunities and jobs creation following setbacks from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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Funding Amount • Eligible industry businesses could receive interest-free repayable contributions for up to 50% of authorized costs. • Eligible not-for-profit organizations could receive nonrepayable contributions for up to 90% of eligible costs. • Eligible Indigenous organizations may receive contributions for up to 100% of eligible project costs. • Project contribution amounts cannot normally exceed $10 million. Applicant Eligibility • Small and medium-sized businesses, including co-operatives; • Not-for-profit organizations and community economic development partners; and • Indigenous organizations. Project Eligibility To be eligible for the Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF), manufacturing projects must: • Foster an inclusive recovery; • Preserve Canada’s competitiveness and future-proof SMEs through digital adoption; • Strengthen the capacity in sectors critical to Canada’s recovery and growth; and/or • Support the transition to a green economy.

Program Timeline: • Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until all funding is allocated. • Certain costs may be eligible on a retroactive basis up to 12 months before the receipt of the project application, but no earlier than April 19, 2021. • All projects must be completed prior to March 31, 2024. If your Canadian agri-food business is interested in applying for government funding through any of the three above mentioned federally funded agricultural programs, please consider getting in touch with the Mentor Works team to help streamline the application and grant writing process. Author: Alena Barreca - As a Marketing Coordinator at Mentor Works, Alena helps Canadian business owners by creating educational awareness content about government funding. Mentor Works is a business support organization specializing in Canadian government funding. The Ontario-based business has helped hundreds of businesses build and execute their funding strategy through a mix of federal and provincial government grants, loans, and tax credits. Mentor Works offers free online resources, funding webinars, and news via their website at

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I don’t need a business plan! By Doris Valade, Business and Leadership Coach


f you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” — an old adage, but one that still holds true. As a business owner, you probably have most of the business ideas and activities in your head. You know every aspect of the business as you look at the bank balance, vendor payments going out, sales coming in, etc. You may be thinking, “… but I don’t need a business plan.” Trust me, you do. It’s not enough to have these things in your head. A plan makes it easy to update things as your business evolves. It also makes things easier for those who will step in if something happens to you as the owner (their names should appear in the business plan too!) To use another oldy but goody from a John Lennon song (originally from comic strip artist, Allan Saunders) “life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” In business as in other areas of your life, you need to be prepared for anything. Think pandemics! Without a plan … As business is returning to a pandemic version of normal, now is a great time to do your business plan. As the leader in your company, you are responsible for planning for sales growth and innovation through new products and services. How can you plan for tomorrow, if you don’t – Yogi Berra, have a solid understanding of the position your business is in today? Clarify your thinking by putting your thoughts on paper and organizing it all into a written plan. Once your plan is complete, not only will you be more confident in the future, you will have the confidence of your team and a comprehensive document to share with your bank to support required funding or to use when applying for grants. The planning process helps to identify any possible mistakes or trouble areas that need your attention, including cash flow issues (running out of money!). You’ll learn whether your prices are too high or too low. Are your products the best fit for your market? Do they meet your market’s needs? Your business plan is the first step in developing a strategic growth plan to ensure your company’s ongoing success.

“Without a plan, even the most brilliant business can get lost. You need to have goals, create milestones and have a strategy in place to set yourself up for success.”

What should a business plan look like? A written business plan puts on paper a detailed profile of the key components of your business, including the following: • Company Overview – a brief description of your company and where is stands in the marketplace. • SWOT Analysis – helps you identify and understand the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that surround your business. • Marketing and Sales Plan – understanding your target market and key product offerings is key. Review your pricing strategy. How will you distribute your products? What advertising and social media tools and platforms will you use to reach out to current customers? How will you attract new customers? 30

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baseball great and successful entrepreneur • Management Plan – describe the ownership, employee profiles and job positions and any external professional resources (accountant, mentor, advisor/consultant, etc.) By the way, a mentor is invaluable to a new business owner! • Operating Plan – outline of the physical requirements of your business, including office building/space, warehouse, equipment, inventory, labour, etc. • Financial Plan – this includes your cash flow statement, balance sheet, break-even analysis and projected income statement to show your growth plan for the first year if you are starting a new business, or a projection for the next three years for an established business. A three-year projection gives you the opportunity to consider possible new projects, products or services. You might consider putting more money into marketing or expanding your sales team. You don’t have to go it alone Business plans like businesses benefit from collaboration. Why not include key members of your team based on their areas of expertise that match the plan’s components? Collecting the information can be a team effort which encourages a variety of perspectives. Reach out to your advisory board (if you have one) or to your mentor.

Continued on page 40

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If you are a start-up business, maybe all you need is a simple one-page plan that you can build on as the business grows. For an established business, a more comprehensive plan is recommended to ensure that you have considered all aspects of your operations. The SWOT Analysis The one component of your plan that is critical and will be most insightful is the SWOT analysis. You will identify strengths and weaknesses within your business and understand the external opportunities and threats that exist in your industry and business in general (trends, legislation, economy; and at the moment, this includes pandemic effects/protocols). If you decide not to do a business plan (I really hope you don’t take this route) then I strongly recommend you at least do the SWOT analysis.

So, what’s next? Making the time and effort to complete your business plan provides you with the opportunity to look at your business as a whole; make changes where needed and set priorities. It is an investment in you, your future and the future of your business. A helping hand … You’re busy! Making time to do a business plan is probably last on your list of things to do. A template will be helpful as will guidance on how to write you plan, so I have included templates for two types of business plans and one for the SWOT analysis on my website (all free) – About Doris Valade Doris has been involved in the meat and poultry industry for over 35 years. She has sat on the boards of Food & Beverage Ontario, the Canadian Meat Council and the Canadian Spice Association. Doris has been included on the list of Profit magazine’s Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs from 1999 – 2005 and again in 2016. Meat and Poultry Ontario recently awarded Doris the Lifetime Member Award for her outstanding contribution to the industry. Doris mentors and supports small business owners and entrepreneurs through the challenges of running their business. You can request a free (no obligation) phone call and conversation with Doris by sending her an email request:

I had my own business for over 30 years, but 10 years passed before I did my first written business plan. It was the best thing I ever did for myself and the growth of my company. I kicked myself for not doing it sooner!

No matter how you slice it, Pemberton is your one source for all your food processing needs. Contact us today to see how we can improve your bottom line. Pemberton & Associates Inc TECHNOLOGY FOR THE FOOD INDUSTRY 32

BlockTalk - Fall 2021 1-800-668-6111

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www.dpecfoodsolutions.caBlockTalk or call: -(905) 1500 Fall 2021565 33


Why Workplace Screening is More Essential Than Ever By: Workplace Safety & Prevention Services


ncreasing vaccination uptake and declining infection rates are bringing us closer to enjoying a life free of COVID-19 restrictions. These changes are worth celebrating because they’ve been achieved only through individual, corporate and institutional efforts. “But what may be getting lost in all the good news,” says Priya Sookdeo, WSPS’ OHS Management Systems Lead, “is that we still have to avoid complacency and continue complying with measures to prevent transmission, such as screening workers and customers. There are highly contagious variants in Ontario and many people have yet to be fully vaccinated.” This means your employees, customers and even your business remain at risk. The best way to prevent COVID-19 from entering your business is to screen employees and visitors. You’ll find below the latest information from public health officials, including new guidelines for screening vaccinated individuals, and tools that can help. The Ministry of Health has released Employers Managing Employees with Symptoms within 48

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Hours of COVID-19 Immunization, which provides information on screening in the few days following vaccination and specific requirements for workers experiencing symptoms. Screening is a critical part of your COVID-19 safety plan, along with physical distancing, disinfecting, wearing personal protective equipment, and other control measures. “They work together to keep the virus in check,” notes Priya. Why we screen people Screening helps identify workers, customers, and visitors who are infected and could spread the virus, especially those showing no symptoms of infection. Even vaccinated people should be screened since they may be carriers. There are two main types of screening: • passive screening, such as posting signs with questions at entrances, encourages people to self-identify if they have any symptoms or risks. In passive screening the individual is responsible for excluding themselves from entering a place such as a business • active screening involves asking individuals specific questions related to COVID-19 and possibly taking their temperature. In this case the screener advises the individual whether they can proceed with entry. Rapid antigen testing is also being used in many workplaces across Canada as part of the active screening process to protect workers. While these tests are not as sensitive as laboratory tests, they can be useful in detecting people infected with COVID-19, including those who are asymptomatic. Rapid testing can be used following the initial screening procedures and are only one piece of a broader strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Refer to Ministry of Health considerations for rapid antigen point-of-care screening. Screening customers Many small businesses, such as retail, take-out, pharmacies and libraries, rely on passive screening. Posted questions focus on symptoms, contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID, and more. Continued on page 44


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Continued from page 42 – WHY


A single ‘Yes’ answer would bar the person from entering your workplace. This does not apply to people experiencing mild side effects from having been vaccinated in the previous 48 hours. Mild side effects may include mild headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and/or joint pain. These people may enter the workplace but must wear a surgical mask the entire time and follow all health and safety controls and protocols in place. Don’t assume passive screening is okay for all types of customerbased businesses. Under Step 3 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen, certain businesses are to actively screen visitors or patrons; for example, restaurants and bars must actively screen dine-in patrons before they enter, record the patrons’ names and contact information, and maintain these records for one month. (Check screening requirements for businesses opening during Phase 3) Screening employees and visitors Workers, suppliers, contractors and visitors - including those who have been fully or partially vaccinated - must be actively screened before entering the workplace. A worker screening tool developed by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health can be used to develop a screening process. Those who fail a screening should be sent home or asked to stay home to self-isolate, and encouraged to talk to their health care provider or local public health unit for guidance. Make sure your screener is trained on how to relay this information safely.

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Screening resources • COVID-19 Signage Questions for Business and Organizations • COVID-19 worker and employee screening (online screening tool) • COVID-19 Screening Tool for Businesses and Organizations (screening workers) • Guidance for Employers Managing Workers with Symptoms Within 48 Hours of Covid-19 Immunization • Develop your COVID-19 workplace safety plan - Question 2: How will you screen for COVID-19? • 5 best practices for bringing visitors safely into your workplace (article) The information in this article is accurate as of its publication date.

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MPO is proud to present the 2021 Ontario’s Finest Butcher competiton. Each of the butchers will begin by showcasing their technical knowledge and knife skills in an Elimination Round on September 13. The top three will proceed to the Final Round on September 28, where they will show-off their charming and creative selves, thinking quick on their feet, and adding value to a surprise undisclosed protein.

WINNER TAKES ALL The winner will walk away with all the bragging rights, a classic chef jacket and an amazing prize package valued at over $2300.

WATCH THE FINALE LIVE ON FACEBOOK Watch the finale live on September 28, courtesy of Metro. To watch the live event follow Meat & Poultry Ontario on Facebook @MeatPoultryON Visit: for more details. #finestbutcher21

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Abate Packers

Advertiser Index pg. 23, 31

Klever Equipment Inc.

pg. 27


pg. 36

Lumar Ideal

pg. 9

AKR Consulting

pg. 12

Malabar Super Spice

pg. 5

Bizerba Canada Inc.

pg. 2

Meat Depot, The

pg. 28

Canada Compound

pg. 35

Mrakovic Fine Foods

pg. 31

Carlisle Technology

pg. 10

Multivac Canada Inc

pg. 25

Darling Ingredients (Rothsay)

pg. 6

Pemberton & Associates

pg. 32

Donnell Insurance DPEC Food Solutions

pg. 14

Poly-Clip Systems

pg. 7, 19

pg. 6, 15, 33


pg. 13


pg. 29


pg. 2, 40

Erb Transport

pg. 34



pg. 39

pg. 11


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