There’s Beef Between Earls and the Canadian Beef Industry, Over Beef
Source – The industry group representing Alberta’s cattle industry says it is disappointed with a decision by Earls restaurant chain to begin sourcing its beef from the U.S. instead of Canada. Rob McNabb — general manager of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association — said while the Canadian beef industry might not have been able to meet Earls’ desired timeline for its new Certified Humane program, it is already doing much of what the restaurant chain says it is looking for. “We’re just not quite ready to provide the level of documentation they’re looking for,” McNabb said. “But our intent is to meet the market needs as quickly as we can and offer even a broader program.” Vancouver-based Earls announced Tuesday that it would become the first chain in North America to serve only Certified Humane beef — meaning beef raised without the use of antibiotics, steroids or added hormones, and slaughtered according to the specifications of animal welfare expert Dr. Temple Grandin. However, Earls — which uses more than two million pounds of beef each year — was unable to find a Canadian supplier that could meet the chain’s demand for the product. That means that beef served at Earls’ restaurants nationwide will no longer come from Canada, but from Kansas. The backlash from Canadians was immediate, with many taking to Twitter to declare their love for Alberta beef and urge an Earls boycott. Earls spokesperson Cate Simpson said in an email that the company had to decide what was more important — antibiotic free and Certified Humane, or Canadian. “We decided that Certified Humane was more important to us,” she said.
Look, you all know I’m normally team Alberta when it comes to everything, but I’m 100% on team Earls with this one. And actually, Earls was founded right here in the beautiful Seven, so technically I’m still team Alberta too. Is Alberta beef great? Uhm, do the Oilers win draft lotteries? Obviously its great. Like everything else our province produces – oil, wheat, concrete – its the greatest in the world. But that doesn’t mean it can’t get better, much like Earls is trying to do with their food. The CCA had a deadline, and they missed it, but that doesn’t mean this is forever. Even the CCA admitted they need to be better. Once a Canadian distributor reaches a higher level of industry standard I’m sure the two good Canadian businesses will reach an agreement. Everybody praises A&W for serving meat without the use of antibiotics, hormones, or steroids, but Earls is getting boycotted? Come on. A&W actually left the Canadian beef industry back in 2013 for this exact same reason. I’m no expert, but maybe there’s a bigger problem here? These two chains are just exposing that, and it sounds like the industry is willing to adjust because of it. Only good can come of this. But you’re a lunatic if you’re willing to boycott that hall of fame warm potato salad because Earls is trying to serve a better, ethically produced steak. Your loss. More for me. Just try to keep me away from that cajun chicken meal. It’s mouthwatering. The cool coleslaw and the world’s greatest warm potato salad perfectly complement it in such a way that you are simply unable to put down the fork. Think I’ll go there tomorrow to celebrate my anti-boycott. Especially because Earls St. Albert totally reads ENS. My people:
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