ASBESTOS, Quebec – Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Canada’s Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), announced an investment of up to $1 million in Les Viandes Laroche Inc. to enable the company to strengthen its operations. This investment, a product of the Slaughter Improvement Program, will also enable the company to create new jobs in the region.

"This investment will help Les Viandes Laroche Inc. purchase new equipment for their new facilities and continue to provide the industry with the much-needed beef processing service, Blackburn said.

The government funding to Les Viandes Laroche Inc. will enable the company to offer cattle producers high-quality slaughter services through the purchase of equipment, helping it to expand its operations and enhance slaughter capacity.

"We are very pleased with Federal Government support that is helping us to complete our beef production chain, from farmer to consumer,” said Claude Laroche, president of Les Viandes Laroche. “By meeting European Community standards, we can target foreign markets with our Viandes Sélectionnées des Cantons [VSC] beef, respond better to the demand for beef produced our by local breeders and continue distributing niche products."

The Economic Action Plan's Slaughter Improvement Program has a budget of $60 million. Through this program, the Government of Canada grants conditionally repayable federal contributions to companies with sound business plans in order to reduce costs, increase revenues and improve operations of red meat packing and processing businesses in Canada.

"The meat packing and processing sector is the largest employer in the food industry," Blackburn said. "Strength and competitiveness in this sector means more dynamic markets for our farmers and a stronger economy for all Canadians.”