Meat & Poultry Ontario celebrates Ontario’s Finest in the meat processing industry

Meat & Poultry Ontario (MPO) had plenty to celebrate at the 2022 Red Carpet Awards Gala hosted in Niagara Falls earlier this month. The biennial event recognizes processors that produce award-winning, artisanal meats for Ontarians and honours the families of people that make up the association and their commitment to our industry. The night concluded with the crowning of Ontario’s Finest Butcher, in the ninth year of this annual competition.

MPO honoured Harriston Packing Company Ltd., Oakville’s Finest Butchery, Poly-Clip System and Stayner Meat Packers Ltd. as they received their 10-year membership plaques. Conestoga Meats was presented with their 25-year membership recognition and Gord’s Abattoir Ltd. was honoured for 40 years of loyal MPO membership.

The Associate Member Recognition Award (AMRA) is given to an associate member company that, judged by the membership, is deserving of recognition for their contribution to the association and to the industry. This year Farm Credit Canada (FCC) was honored with this distinction, and accepting the award on behalf of FCC was Graham Smyth.

Newly introduced this year was the Public Service Recognition Award in honour of Pat Johnson.  This award celebrates the partnership and collaboration MPO has with local, provincial, and federal governments. First time recipients Kelly McAslan and Natasha Bartlett of OMAFRA took home this honour.

Forty-six awards were presented in the 2022 Ontario Finest Meat Competition™ across 14 categories with placings for Silver, Gold, and Platinum in each. The Ron Usborne Award of Excellence was presented to VG Meats, Simcoe for the most points accumulated in the competition. The Diamond Award was presented to Speducci Mercatto, Toronto for producing the item with the top score across all products, Bresaola Wagyu.

Doug Easterbrook from Townsend Butchers in Simcoe took home the title of Ontario’s Finest Butcher. Facing off in the final round that afternoon on the trade show floor against Christopher McNutt, Halenda’s Meats, and Nick Projkovski, Metro, all finalists received two chickens, pork loin, and a beef shoulder clod, to prepare several “Bougie” display-ready items in the short half hour they were given. The four judges scores combined determined that 4-time competition veteran Doug Easterbrook would take home the title.

(Watch the Competition Judging video, and see the complete list of Award Winners.)