I thought I’d never see the day that the meat processing plant in Balzac would open its doors and I’m glad to say I was wrong.
On Feb. 27, Harmony Beef will begin slaughtering cattle, with the ability to process up to 800 head a day at full capacity.
When they held a job fair they were flooded with local resumes and will open with 175 employees – potentially growing to as many as 375 workers when they reach full production.
For anyone who knows the long saga of Rancher’s Beef, it was stalled by bureaucratic red tape, access to water, and even a battle with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi over odour.
In the end, the company’s state-of-the-art design addressed all the concerns with a killing floor built to European standards, an innovative water recycling system that reduces water use by 85 per cent over traditional production, and an “electronic nose” that will monitor for smells.
I spoke with Harmony Beef President and CEO Rich Vesta about how the opening of his company is being received by neighbours, competitors and potential customers.
Our full interview is below: