Ukraine investors choose North Bay airport as landing spot for meat processing plant: City cuts land deal for incoming company at airport business park.

Author:Ross, Ian

The City of North Bay has cut a deal that's landed a meat processing company at Jack Garland Airport's industrial park.

In late February, city council approved the sale of three acres of non-airside land for $123,000 to a group of investors from Ukraine to establish a startup company, known only as Canada Meat Group.

Details remain scarce on the identity of the group, their background, and the plant's size and production numbers.

The group, which has no European parent company, is looking to set up is first Canadian presence.

Tight-lipped city officials are leaving it up to the company to make further announcements.

Invest North Bay chair George Burton said the courting process began two years ago. The group had apparently been scoping out locations across Canada.

The city's economic development staff brought the group to North Bay where Burton made the pitch.

"They could have located this anywhere," said Burton. "They just found North Bay an attractive site during their due diligence."

The facility will not be an abattoir. It will receive fully dressed meat for further processing.

Plans are to source Canadian beef, which has a world reputation for being high quality.

"That's part of the draw to come to Canada," said Burton, who couldn't say from where they will be sourcing beef.

"I hope they start growing some beef north of us on the agricultural belt we have north of us in the New Liskeard area. That would be a natural. But I'm sure that's not going to be able to supply their entire demand."

Job creation numbers out of the gate are projected to be between 20 and 40. The proposed operation has the potential to be scalable.

To what extent the company will utilize the airport for export opportunities, Burton wasn't certain.

"That's a business decision they'll make."

Infrastructure-wise, North Bay has an airport with a 10,000-foot runway and a steadily expanding aerospace and industrial business park.

Burton said the West Ferris industrial park was also under consideration.

"Their primary concern was to find a suitable site for their plant."

Lots with airside access are available for lease, said Burton. Those with non-airside access are available for sale.

Burton couldn't say if the company plans to establish other Canadian...

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