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Retailers can make sense of meat at new centre

Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence will work to develop the beef category

Canada Beef has officially opened the doors of its Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence in Calgary, Alta.

Construction of the facility began last summer after receiving a $3.8-million investment from the federal government.

The centre features a commercial kitchen, meat case, classroom, dining facilities and broadcast capabilities.

Marty Carpenter, director of the facility, said the centre will be a hub for research and technical tool development for the Canadian beef industry. He said it will also be used for business development on a global scale.

“We’ve positioned the facility in the heart of Canadian beef country,” Carpenter explains. “We can fly someone in from Japan or China, and having the ability to host them can really do wonders.”

Carpenter says the facility is in close proximity to beef farms, which means prospective clients are able to do farm tours and easily come back to the facility to begin talking about specifics. “We’re able to cook the product for them in the centre, which really seals the deal,” he said.

From a domestic perspective, Carpenter says he hopes retailers will use the conference room and meat case to try out merchandising and packaging techniques.

“We’re able to break open the packages and arrange the product so a retailer can determine how an in-store display will perform,” Carpenter said. “We’re able to take away as many variables as possible before a product hits the market.”

Canada Beef will be use the broadcast capabilities to re-launch its cooking videos and promoting its new Roundup app.

“Beef is a complex category and the inherent understanding of beef has been lost by the consumer,” Carpenter said. “We need to educate shoppers when it comes to cooking beef to help grow the category.”

Retailers and manufacturers are able to book space and sessions online for the centre.

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