The sad saga persists, long after anyone involved in the beef industry ever would have predicted — a continued shutdown of XL Foods Inc. in Brooks, Alta., (one of only two major beef processing plants in Canada) has generated a tsunami-like wave that has engulfed the entire cattle industry.
The reason for the original closure — the discovery of an E.coli contamination, definitely a real concern but certainly not the end of the world as we know it.
As with anything in which a human hand plays a role, there is potential for error.
So shut down the plant.
Scour, disinfect and sterilize from top-to-bottom, examine work-practises — implement change (if necessary); then get back up and running.
Hasn’t happened. Why?
Too much time by too many spent head shaking, finger-pointing and speculating about whose fault it was instead of trying to get back to business.
The wave is just rolling along, actually gathering momentum, leaving those in the cattle industry floundering and sputtering in the wake.
As usual, the little people are hardest hit; workers at the XL Foods Inc. Brooks plant — 2,000 laid-off employees, many now unable to meet month-end obligations.
What can they do, find another job. In a town the size of Brooks with 1999 others.
The time to pin the blame on the donkey (pick one) is long past, just get that plant up and running – whatever it takes, before its too late.
Cattle producers worried as two big processors (Cargill & XL Foods) gobbled up many of the mid-sized facilities.
Imagine their trepidation should this (XL Foods) fiasco cause this plant to go under.
Put aside the petty grievances, problems and politics; work together to keep competition healthy in the Canadian beef processing sector.