Custom Meat Cutting & Orders

Slaughter Cessation
June 17, 2015

To Our Valued Customers:

We have been serving our community with custom slaughter/cutting/processing services for over 25 years. However, with the lack of skilled labour and Service Canada’s changes to the Foreign Worker Program, the last 2 years have been a great struggle. The labour shortage is in part due to the fact that the average wage in the food industry is considerably less than in other trades and, therefore, recruitment is extremely low. For several years we were able to combat this by hiring seasonal foreign workers. This changed in 2013 with onerous changes to the program by Service Canada. The new rules made it impossible to get a foreign worker for a seasonal position in the time-frame that it takes for the application to be processed. In addition, the application cost quadrupled, applications are rejected for irrelevant reasons (such as punctuation mistakes) and the re-application process requires one to start the application all over again from the beginning. We have contacted many government representatives over the last few years to inform them of the potential results of this labour shortage but no help or changes to the system have been forthcoming.

As a result, we went into the last two fall seasons (2013 & 2014) with only one part-time butcher (in addition to Dave) and half the required number of support staff. In an attempt to keep up with our custom workload, Dave ended up having to do the work of 1 1/2 butchers. As a result, he ended up permanently damaging himself and is no longer able to do slaughter and cutting work. Currently we only have part-time workers and are struggling to keep up to our present workload. Therefore, the ability to take on any additional work is just not possible. With many of you all ready wanting to book your animals for the fall season, we felt we needed to apprise you of our predicament and inform you that we are no longer able to offer custom slaughter/cutting/processing services. This has been an extremely difficult decision for us to come to after investing 25 years in our custom business but we have no other options left. Thank you for your support over the years and we wish you all the best with your future endeavours.

Dave and Sarah Fernie

Click here to download a PDF of this letter.