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NCMPC to Partner with Del Fox Meats

Published:2013-12-04 Business
NCMPC to Partner with Del Fox Meats    Print Snohomish Times    
NCMPC to Partner with Del Fox Meats

The North Cascade Meat Producers Cooperative and Del Fox Meats of Stanwood Washington have agreed in principle to enter into a partnership to provide USDA-inspected slaughter and meat processing for farms in Island, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties. The cooperative is working on the design and development of a mobile processing unit to conduct USDA on-farm slaughter while Del Fox Meats is preparing plans to build a new facility to conduct USDA-inspected processing.

“We currently have 27 members on board who have purchased shares to provide equity and capital as well loan commitments from the Whatcom Community Foundation and another party, states Sandra Matheson, Vice President of the cooperative. We intend to have a USDA grant of inspection and a mobile processing unit in operation by this coming summer. Del Fox Meats has a great reputation throughout our region. Partnering with them for processing services is a positive solution to help our farmers and cooperative get our product finished and into the market place. We are very interested to engage the participation of Snohomish County meat producers.”

Del Fox Meats currently offers Washington State Department of Agriculture Custom Exempt slaughtering services for customers who have arranged to buy beef directly from a farm. “We have wanted to offer USDA-inspected processing services for some time now, states Pat Cairus, owner of Del Fox Meats. Our two retail stores are doing very well and having access to USDA slaughter will enable us to expand our offerings of locally produced beef, pork, and lamb. The co-op’s pursuit of purchasing a mobile slaughter unit that can provide USDA on-farm slaughter is a smart, lower cost way of getting into the business at a scale that can still get a lot of good local meat into the market.”

The current members of North Cascade Meat Producers Cooperative operate farms in Island, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties. The Northwest Agriculture Business Center, a USDA designated Cooperative Development Center located in Mt. Vernon, is providing technical assistance to this new meat producer-owned business. “There are over a million people accessible to the counties where these producers farm,” states NABC Project Manager Jeff Voltz. Based on national consumption data provided by the USDA, we can reasonably estimate that the four-county population of Island, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties consumed the equivalent of 140,000 beef cows, 300,000 hogs, and 28,000 lamb in 2012. More than 98% of this meat comes into these counties from outside of the Puget Sound region. There is currently a burgeoning market demand for locally produced products and a huge market opportunity for local meat production.”

The North Cascades Meat Producers Cooperative is now accepting new members! If you are interested in learning more about the cooperative you can do so by accessing the web site at or calling 360.255.7112

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