The head of JBS says things will be different when the XL Foods meat processing plant in Brooks, Alta., reopens on Monday. It's been at the centre of a massive beef recall connected to E. coli contamination.
The company expects consumer-ready beef to be leaving the plant by the end of the day.
JBS management held a news conference in Brooks Thursday and CEO Bill Rupp laid out 10 things he believes in as a leader.
He said the No. 1 issue right now is food safety, and JBS feels the responsibility lies with the company and not the government.
Rupp is also promising that the line speed at the plant will initially be slower.
"We're going to do a lot of on-the-job training of exactly how we believe those jobs need to be performed," said Rupp.
The union representing workers had complained the line speed was part of the problem behind food safety issues.
'Don't have to be a jerk' to highlight problems
JBS says current managers at the Brooks plant will be back Monday when it reopens, but JBS staff will be onsite to oversee the beef processing.
"Nobody oughta have to work for a jerk," said Rupp. "And I sit here as a reformed jerk, and I know I have jerk tendencies. It really sends a message through the organization. I mean if somebody's doing something wrong or not performing to where it needs to be you don't have to be a jerk to have that conversation."
The company says it believes its safety measures will help restore Canadian confidence in the meat processing industry
The Brooks plant employs about 2,200 people. JBS says there is no firm date for buying XL Foods, as the company's first priority is to get the Brooks plant up and running first.
JBS USA, whose Brazilian parent company claims it is the world's largest animal protein processor, will run the XL plant for 60 days and has an exclusive option to buy the Canadian and U.S. operations of XL Foods.
XL will continue to manage its other Canadian and U.S. operations during the option period.
The company also announced it will be giving $20,000 to the Brooks food bank, which saw a spike in traffic after roughly 2,000 XL workers were laid off on Oct. 13.
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Hey, the time is good now as any. Drop by at a store that sells local and/or organic meat. Many major retail chains now supply local produce. Or stop by a farmers market. Heck, if you live in Alberta, you could walk (drive) over to the farm and really get to know where your food is coming from.
Beef From Other Plants
There are other major beef producers that thankfully have been spared from the major recalls. Purchase meat from Cargill producers in Alberta perhaps?
Maybe you could treat yourself to some bison if you're missing your medium-rare steak during the recall. Who knows, you may just come back for more!
Dare we say it... producers from around the country (and world) have safe beef for consumption. Maybe its time to look for temporary alternatives to get your steak from. Alberta beef will be back on the market soon anyway.
Beefalo burgers anyone? This could be an opportunity to give these hybrid animals a taste if you've been contemplating trying beefalo for sometime.
Other Meats Like Chicken
You love your beef and it loves you right back, but maybe you can take this opportunity to try out different foods. Now we don't mean tofu, but some butter chicken may be a refreshing addition to your plate.
Fresh halibut? Yes, please.