Food In Canada

Wild game plant on the rise

By Darrell Greer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kivalliq News   

Business Operations Meat &Poultry Seafood Specialty Foods Kivalliq Arctic Foods Nunavut

Scott Saddler displays a fine catch during one of his frequent fishing trips. Saddler has been doing an exceptional job at Kivalliq Arctic Foods in Rankin Inlet since taking over as its general manager on Dec, 27, 2017. Photo courtesy Scott Saddler, Darrell Greer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Kivalliq Arctic Foods has been on a roll since Scott Saddler took over as its general manager about six-and-one-half-years ago.

The plant processes a wide assortment of caribou, muskox and Arctic char products for customers across Nunavut.

Parent organization, the Nunavut Development Corp., describes Saddler as a long-time Nunavut resident with an extensive background in food production and meat processing.

It further adds that Saddler and his team work with Inuit hunters and fishermen from across the Kivalliq, and occasionally other Nunavut regions, to stock the country food needed to meet the growing demand.

The plant is also well-known for working closely with Chesterfield Inlet and Whale Cove, both of which operate fish and maktaaq processing facilities during the summer to supply products for redistribution across the territory.

Saddler said the business is doing really well overall.

He said the plant continues to create jobs, which its what its main objective has always been.

“We bought from every community this year except Coral Harbour, which has just been super,” said Saddler. “We bought fish from across, pretty much, all of Nunavut, including Qikiqtarjuaq, Gjoa Haven, Clyde River, Cambridge Bay and then, also, along the shoreline this year.

“We only buy from Inuit beneficiaries or people with beneficiary rights. We do not buy from anyone else.

“When I took it over on Dec. 27, 2017, the first year we did books here, there were five direct jobs created. I’m at 10 so far this year, plus all the indirect jobs, so it’s gone up quite well. We now have 15 people working here.

“The company is really on solid footing right now.”

Saddler said the company is currently in the process of finding someone to install a brand-new freezer at Kivalliq Arctic Foods.

He said the company needs a bigger freezer now, which will make it easier for everyone involved at the plant.

“We’re really busy right now to the point where we can’t keep up.

“We’re the only truly wild game factory in Canada. In Ontario or Down East, you can’t shoot a moose or a deer, for example, and sell it to someone. Here, because of beneficiary rights and everything that was negotiated when Nunavut left the NWT in 1999, things work quite differently.

“Our caribou herd is holding firm in its numbers and maybe even expanding a little bit, so we have a solid caribou herd. And, as well, our muskox herd is really expanding in the Kivalliq area, so everything, right now, looks really good moving forward.”

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