DuBreton says it intends to substantially increase its organic pork processing at its plant at Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec.
It buys a substantial volume of hogs from Ontario, including from Mennonites in the Milverton area who were organized by veterinarian Marty Misener, linked with a purebred supplier and coached on housing and management to meet DuBreton’s standards.
CBC news reports that DuBreton’s expansion plans have “the potential of opening up a new, growing market for hundreds of family farms.”
"As a family company, it's hard to compete against the big, international pork producers," said DuBreton presiudent Vincent Breton.
“We knew we had to do things differently. We saw that consumers have an interest in where the product comes from and how animals are raised."
The plan is to raise an additional 300,000 market hogs over the next three years to meet the certified organic and certified humanely raised criteria. DuBretont is already the largest producer and processor of organic and natural pork in North America.
Breton said the company will invest $30 million over the next three years to meet its target, including new pens on its own farms and working with family farmers to upgrade their facilities. Breton said he works with about 300 farmers in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
The company is negotiating with Longo's in Ontario for shelf space for its certified organic and humanely raised products and aims to generate interest in the humanely raised product across Canada.
Breton says the consumer market for the product is only just developing."The reason why is that it's quite expensive to go humanely raised and organic. You have to have time and commitment to make the investment."