Kenora Rainy-River MPP and Minister of Northern Development, Greg Rickford, has announced a funding investment of $826,140 to modernize the Oxdrift abattoir at Cloverbelt Country Meats Cooperative. An abattoir is another name for a slaughterhouse.

Rickford says the investment comes as the demand for locally-produced food continues to increase in northwestern Ontario. The funding will go towards the modernization and new specialized processing equipment for Cloverbelt Country Meats, to help increase production.

“The Oxdrift abattoir provides much needed services to small- and medium-sized farms in the region and is a major source of income for farmers,” said Rickford. “By investing in local agriculture projects, such as the modernization of the Oxdrift abattoir, Ontario’s Government for the People is creating jobs, supporting regional economies, and most importantly, letting people know that Northern Ontario’s agricultural sector is open for business.”

Rickford says that the upgrades will increase the long-term viability of the facility, and aid the expansion of its business into larger commercial markets like restaurants, tourist camps and hospitals.

“We would like to thank the ministry and the Honourable Greg Rickford for supporting our initiative and having agriculture as a priority for Northern Ontario,” said Roger Griffiths, President of Cloverbelt Country Meats Cooperative Inc. “The Oxdrift abattoir is a critical link in the production chain and also supports the local food movement. We look forward to continuing to serve the farmers, hunters and First Nations communities in our region.”

Cloverbelt Country Meats Cooperative Incorporated is a non-profit cooperative formed in 2015 by a group of 11 farmers to retain the Oxdrift abattoir, which was scheduled for closure. Services include finished products such as whole chickens, beef and pork cuts, sausages and smoked meats, and wild game processing.

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