The North Cascades Meat Producers Cooperative is making its member-equity shares available for purchase to meat producers in the northwest Cascades and north Olympic Peninsula regions.
Through member capital and other financing sources, the cooperative intends lease space to build a small processing plant in Whatcom County in order to cut, wrap and label meat products for producers that need inspection certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and custom-exempt services from the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
The cooperative is working on a lease-agreement with the Pierce Conservation District to use a self-contained mobile unit for USDA-inspected slaughter. The unit will be stationed at farm sites in Whatcom and Skagit counties, initially for six days per month.
The group has also developed a North Cascade Meats brand, with production standards for beef and lamb that ensure animals are pasture raised and grass finished (no grains), pork is pasture raised, no feed antibiotics or hormones are used, no petroleum-based fertilizers are used on pastures and no detrimental impacts to riparian areas are permitted.
Representatives from the group said the program was met with positive reception from local restaurants and food-services companies such as Bellingham’s Community Food Co-op, Boundary Bay Brewery, Dirty Dan Harris Steakhouse and Seafood Restaurant, Fiamma Burger, PeaceHealth’s food and nutrition services (St. Joseph Medical Center) and Western Washington University’s food services, which are operated by Aramark.
Total construction, equipment and start-up costs are budgeted at $412, 300. The cooperative seeks to initially raise $130,000 in member-equity capital and $281,750 from other sources.
For more information, contact Pat Grover, the co-op’s president, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 360-255-7112.