Leeds Grenville
Economic Development eNews | January 31, 2017
Business Profile
Farmersville Community Abattoir providing central services for livestock producers
ATHENS - Farmersville Community Abattoir (FCA) couldn't be more central and convenient within Leeds Grenville.

Located at 63 Addison Road just minutes from Athens, the newly opened abattoir is doing a lot of business. FCA is a not-for-profit corporation conceived in February 2016 to address an urgent need in Leeds and Grenville for livestock slaughter services to local farmers. Eastern Ontario has lost 35% of its provincially licensed abattoirs over the past 10 years. 

"It's been a community effort," says Barbara Schaefer, chair of the board and a heritage swine farmer. The number of abattoirs was already very low when Rideau Meats in Smiths Falls closed in February 2016. Then came word Lynch's Slaughter House in Lansdowne would be closing too. There are approximately 1,000 producers in this catchment area requiring services.

"Your processor is your most important partner in livestock farming," Barbara says. If the region was left without an abattoir, area producers would be driving long distances for services. She felt she had to do something and thought re-opening the former Athens Meat Packers facility would be a great solution. It's a newer building, has a circular drive and an expansive livestock holding area. 

It was no easy task. She formed a team to raise money and renovate the building to strict food security standards. Capital costs were sourced through loans, membership fees and donations. Thousand Islands Community Development Corporation (TICDC), the Business Development Bank of Canada and a private investor helped, Barbara says. 

FCA opened in October 2016. Services include slaughter, custom cutting and wrapping, sausage making, curing and smoking. It will soon offer clients the option of vacuum packaging, weighing and labeling at a nominal cost.

"The purpose of FCA is to provide a long-term, secure and reliable service to farmers so they may better plan and operate their farm businesses. People support local food. Services, including meat processing, should be increasing not decreasing," she says. 

Currently FCA accepts a range of domestic farm animals, including cattle, sheep, lamb, goats and swine. Long-term goals include the establishment of a poultry service. They may consider becoming a training facility for new butchers. 

"There is great potential to make this facility into a model for progressive livestock processing. Under the direction of the board, staff and membership, FCA will look to break new ground," says Barbara. With a voting membership, FCA will operate in perpetuity. Memberships are $1,000. FCA has received donations and memberships from farmers, restaurateurs, chefs, butchers, retailers and consumers. Donations of any denomination continue to be welcomed.

Learn more about FCA by visiting their website. Contact them at farmersvilleabattoir@gmail.com or call 613-924-0400.  
Top feature photo: Manager and lead butcher Paul Bernicky and Board of Directors Chair Barbara Schaefer in the packaging room. Paul has 36 years of experience in the industry. Barbara is owner of Upper Canada Heritage Meats near North Augusta.

Administrative assistant and wrapper Laila Deya stacks packaged meat crates.

Bernie Barber is the original owner and builder of the facility. He is an experienced butcher and former provincial slaughterhouse inspector. He has joined FCA as a butcher, consultant and mentor.

The building on Addison Road. FCA is working on getting signage and a logo.
Economic Development Summit

Giant Tiger Vice-president and Chief Financial Officer Paul Wood is one of the keynote speakers featured on video. 
Summit presentations and videos now online
The 8th annual Leeds Grenville Economic Development Summit presentations and videos are now available to you online.

Visit our Leeds Grenville website's 2016 Summit page for easy access links to PowerPoint PDFs and videos, including the keynote speakers, New Developments within this Region, the Master Presentation and the Leeds Grenville Economic Development Update.

SAVE THE DATE - 2017 Economic Development Summit
WHEN: Friday, November 17th, 2017
WHERE: North Grenville Municipal Centre

Mark the 2017 summit event in your calendar as we're looking forward to you joining us once again for the day's events. 
Celebrating Business
Rideau Lakes Township calls for nominations 
The Rideau Lakes Economic Development Ad Hoc Committee would like to recognize the many contributions local businesses make within the township. The Committee is seeking nominations for: Business of the Year; Business Innovation and Young Entrepreneur (Under 35). Winners will be recognized at a Business Recognition Breakfast hosted by the Ad Hoc Committee on Friday, April 7th at the South Elmsley Municipal Complex.

DEADLINE: Friday, February 10th

Learn more about the award categories, nomination guidelines and see the nomination form.

Workshops and Seminars
Health and Safety Training for Employers

As an employer, you have a legal obligation to protect your employees. If you would like to learn how you can achieve legislative compliance, prevent injuries and mitigate your risks and costs, join Workforce Safety and Injury Prevention Specialist Joe Watkins at this interactive workshop.

WHEN: Thursday, February 9, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (buffet lunch included)
WHERE: Gananoque Inn, 550 Stone Street South, Gananoque
COST: $45 

Visit our Workshops and Seminars page to learn more. The deadline to register is February 3rd. 
Cultural Diversity Training Certification Course

The two-day course focuses on the value of cultural diversity in the workplace. Segments include: 
  • Fundamentals of Intercultural Competencies
  •  Power Dynamics: Racism and Vulnerable Groups
  •  Systemic Discrimination: Hiring and Promotion
  •  Intercultural Communication and Best Practices

WHEN: Monday, March 6 to Tuesday, March 7, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: St. Lawrence College - Marianne van Silfhout Gallery, 2288 Parkedale Avenue, Brockville
COST: $100 

Visit our Workshops and Seminars page to learn more.  The deadline is February 10th.
Workshops and Seminars