Meet the AAC Membership

 Meat & Poultry Ontario

Meat & Poultry Ontario (MPO) (formerly Ontario Independent Meat Processors) is the representative voice of the independent meat and poultry processor in Ontario. MPO is the heart of Ontario’s meat industry. Their members are independent businesses proud to serve the communities they live and work in. They can be found across the province, involved in every stage of the meat industry from harvesting to retail.

MPO has been a member organization, in the Agri-Business/Retail/Food Processor sector, since November 2016. Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, MPO accessed funding to develop programs and services that will not only help their members deal with some of their challenges at a business level but are also part of their long-term sustainability strategy as an association. Through that project, they developed a new brand strategy to refresh and modernize the association as part of efforts to attract new workers, especially younger people, into the sector. One of the outcomes of that strategy, was the recent update of their name to MPO. Click here to read more about their project.

We have asked a few questions to learn more about MPO:

1. What do you enjoy most about being an AAC member?

The AAC AGM. Every year AAC invites some great thought leaders and innovative projects that are presented at the show. It is a great way to understand how others are tackling their issues. The day is always rounded off with an outstanding speaker. Combine this with great opportunity to network and connect with many different Agriculture and Food professionals makes it one of my favorite go to events of the year.

2. As an applicant, what has your experience been like working with AAC?

What I’ve always appreciated about AAC is that they are just a phone call away. Whether it is just prospecting a project during the pre-proposal, or getting clarification on processes, AAC staff are always there and knowledgeable to get the answers you need. Their advice and feedback are invaluable to the success of our proposals and helped us better define and explain our projects.

3. What is your long-term vision for MPO?

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

Meat & Poultry Ontario is the heart of Ontario’s meat industry. Our members are independent businesses proud to serve the communities they live and work in. They can be found across the province, involved in every stage of the meat industry from harvesting to retail.

No matter where they are located or the type of products they produce, Meat & Poultry Ontario members are committed to creating delicious, healthy and nutritional foods for Ontario families. In addition to providing food for your table, your local butcher is a strong economic driver in urban and rural Ontario. Ontario’s meat and poultry sector employs 25% of Ontario’s food and beverage processing industry — the single largest manufacturing employer in Ontario — and generates $8.8 billion of the province’s $42 billion food and beverage processing industry revenue.

The bulk of that money stays in Ontario and allows Meat & Poultry Ontario members to provide for their families, support their local economy and be active leaders in their local food movement.

Meat & Poultry Ontario is proud to lead and grow our industry. Through our innovative services we bring recognized leadership, meaningful connections and practical insights to our members and Ontario consumers. We are relentlessly focused on helping Ontario’s butchers, meat processors and their suppliers connect with markets (and one another) so they can grow their business and our sector of independent meat processors.

Meat & Poultry Ontario is energized by the changes coming. Working with and for our members, we will continue to develop tools and programs that allow innovative and creative butchers to connect with consumers in Ontario and across Canada.

4. Are there any exciting activities that MPO will be initiating in the upcoming year for your industry?

MANY!

In case you didn’t notice we just changed our name, formerly known as Ontario Independent Meat Processors, we transitioned to Meat & Poultry Ontario as part of our strategic planning and reflective of the growth of the association now representing the breadth of business that produce meat and poultry in the province.

We recently launched our first Member Savings Program – Energy. We are working on investigating the feasibility of other programs such as insurance, credit cards and other purchasing programs.

We also just launched the Meat Industry Engagement Panel with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, an initiative to help increase communication between the sector and those creating policy within government.

Meat & Poultry Ontario helped establish the first Canadian team to compete in the World Butcher’s Challenge. Team Canada is preparing to compete in Sacramento California, September 2020 and will be hosting a number of practices in Ontario and Alberta between now and the competition. Follow the team on Twitter and Instagram @wbcTeamCanada

5. What is one Ontario meat product that everyone needs to try if they haven’t already?

I could get into a lot of trouble here! But to pick just 1 would be impossible, that’s why we have the Ontario’s Finest Meat competition (check out our 2017 winners)! 2019’s competition was bigger and better than ever and we will be announcing the winners at Meat Industry Expo, October 25, 26 at Scotiabank Centre in Niagara Falls.

Click here to learn more about the AAC membership.