Family was at the heart of Meat and Poultry Ontario‘s 2019 Red Carpet Awards Gala, held in Niagara Falls, Ont. on October 25 during the biannual Meat and Poultry Expo. At the Gala, Meat and Poultry Ontario celebrated family businesses that produce meats for Ontarians and the people that make up the industry association and their commitment to the organization. The night concluded with the crowning of Ontario’s Finest Butcher, an annual competition now in its sixth year.
Meat and Poultry Ontario honoured Karlovo, Farm Credit Canada, Sheik Halal Farms, Webers Food Group Limited, Longo Brothers Fruit Markets, Eddystone Meat Products, Wagener’s Meat Products and Agram Meats as they received their 10-year membership plaque, followed by Malabar Super Spice and Windcrest Meat Products who were honoured for 25 years of loyal MPO membership.
Since the awards’ inception in 1995, MPO has presented only 12 prestigious Lifetime Member Awards to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the industry. This year the organization inducted Doris Valade, formerly of Malabar Super Spice, into that respected club.
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 Reiser Canada, Burlington, was honoured with this distinction.
Fifty-one awards were presented in the 2019 Ontario Finest Meat Competition crossing 16 categories with placing for Silver, Gold, and Platinum in each. The Ron Usborne Award of Excellence was presented to Halenda’s Meats, Oshawa 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, Wild Boar Prosciutto.
Brent Herrington from Herrington’s Quality Butchers in Port Perry took home the title of Ontario’s Finest Butcher. Herrington competed against Doug Easterbrook of Townsend Butchers and Steve Toms of Fortinos in the final round. The three faced off on the trade show floor on October 26. All finalists received two chickens, a leg of lamb, and a beef rib, to prepare several display-ready items in the half-hour they were given.
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