New License Good for Business

Nova Scotia-based Northumberland Lamb Marketing Co-operative Ltd. wanted to transition from being a provincially-inspected abattoir to being federally licensed under the Canadian Food Inspection (CFIA) Meat Hygiene Program. This would enable them to process more lambs since the license would open up the Canadian market, and give them access to large retailer distribution centres.

Action Plan:  Perennia’s food safety specialists Wendy Harvie and Pam Laffin started working with Northumberlamb in early 2013 and the work included several phases: initial facility assessment and consulting on upgrades; process changes to meet the meat hygiene requirements; writing the food safety program; submitting paperwork to CFIA for approval and revisions; conducting staff training and validation studies; and prepping and being there as support and guidance through the CFIA final inspection process.  “Perennia was very important,” says Plant Manager Michael Isenor. “We didn’t know what we didn’t know. It was a huge learning process and Perennia was very helpful in guiding us through it. Without Pam and Wendy, we could never have done it. I can’t thank them enough.”

Result:  This past spring, Northumberland Lamb Marketing Co-operative Ltd. successfully transitioned from a provincially-inspected abattoir to being federally licensed under the Canadian Food Inspection (CFIA) Meat Hygiene Program. The key benefit: they can now sell across provincial borders and supply major supermarket distribution centres.  It was a good business decision, says Isenor. “Our sales just this week were double what they would have been. We are now in a situation where we’re looking for lambs rather than not being able to sell the lambs we had.” They have also hired three new full-time and one new part-time employees. www.northumberlamb.ca