The North Cascade Meat Producers Cooperative has received a determination notice from the Internal Revenue Service that it has qualified for an IRS Section 521 Farmers Cooperative tax exempt status.
This status also provides exemptions from federal and state securities regulations, which leaders of the cooperative say will be helpful as they seek to raise capital for their new business start-up.
“We currently have 30 meat producers on board who have purchased memberships in the cooperative as well a loan commitment from the Whatcom Community Foundation, stated Pat Grover, the cooperative’s president, in a press release. “The securities exemptions that this status provides are more critical than the tax exemption at this stage of our development. These exemptions will support the cooperative’s plan to offer non-voting equity investment opportunities to our producer members and other parties, as well as offering private placement opportunities for those interested in investing in our efforts to ensure the sustainability of farming and increase the availability of locally produced meat throughout the region.”
The members of North Cascade Meat Producers Cooperative operate farms in Island, Skagit, Snohomish, 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 who reside in the counties where these producers farm,” said NABC Project Manager Jeff Voltz. “Based on national consumption data provided by the USDA, we can reasonably estimate that this four-county population 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 Cascade Meat Producers Cooperative is online at www.northcascademeats.com.