Track record for food safety
During his tenure, Roach says Belmont has made significant investments in food safety interventions and institutional expertise. Most recently, the company created a position of Director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance and hired Goshasp Avari to fill the post.
“She’s the very best I’ve ever worked with,” Roach says. “She sits at the executive table, and she has an enormous amount of clout.”
The company’s Toronto-based factory is federally inspected and HACCP and SQF certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) and Silliker Laboratories. Sophisticated data control and analysis systems measure and maintain the quality of Belmont products. Additionally, the company ensures its supplier partners adhere to Belmont’s robust food safety standards, remain current in their own food safety initiatives and comply with all regulatory requirements.
Belmont is big on research. The company examines global markets for trends; and consumer panels help guide the company toward successful product formulations. Roach says Belmont continues market research on US consumers, and he reveals that consumers in the US and Canada are similar. These similarities, Roach says, present an opportunity for Belmont in the premium burger segment.
Another similarity between Canadian and US consumers is the desire for more information about where food they buy is sourced. “We look to buy locally when possible,” Roach says. “The key is affordability.”
Room to grow
With sights firmly set on markets south of the Canadian border, Belmont Meat Products executives have steadily laid the groundwork for further expansion.
Recently, Belmont promoted Doug Oakey to vice president, Retail Sales North America, from his previous position as a senior sales director. Oakey has logged more than 25 years of experience in senior executive management in the protein industry. In his new role, Oakey will oversee retail sales of Belmont Meats products across North America.
Belmont also invested in facility upgrades to support higher production volumes. “In 2013, we invested in a new burger line and upgraded two others,” Roach says. “We are looking at further expansion.”
In the company’s steak operations, Belmont invested in new marinating technologies that enabled the company to launch a marinated chipotle short-rib product. Roach says three new flavors are slated to launch in the fall.
But the biggest investment the company can make is in a new plant. Belmont Meats already has one facility in Toronto. But a second facility – in Canada or the United States – may be in the company’s future as company leadership increases efforts to understand US markets. Ultimately, the company must balance its ambitions for expansion with customer and consumer demand. Roach says growth at Belmont Meats “will be driven by consumers.”
Belmont executives and employees will be celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary through the year. To mark the milestone, the company unveiled an anniversary version of the Belmont Meat Products logo.
“The incorporation of gold, and the 50th motif, not only marks our many years of providing safe, affordable, great tasting food choices, but also represents a gold standard
for excellence in all that we do,” Roach said at the time.