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September 4, 2012

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Media Release: NEW LOCAL MEAT PRODUCERS CO-OP NOW SELLING MEMBER SHARES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Pat Grover, info@northcascademeats.com, 360.255.7112

The North Cascades Meat Producers Cooperative (NCMPC) is now making its Member Equity Shares available to meat producers in the Northwest Cascades and North Olympic Peninsula regions. The cooperative was formed for the purpose of providing processing and marketing services to meat producers throughout this region.

Through member capital and other financing sources the cooperative intends lease space to build out a small processing plant in Whatcom County in order to cut, wrap, and label meat products for producers that need USDA-inspected and WSDA custom-exempt services. NCMPC is working on a lease-agreement with the Pierce Conservation District to use a self-contained mobile unit for USDA-inspected slaughter. This unit will be stationed at a farm sites in Whatcom and Skagit Counties, initially projected at six days per month. The unit can accommodate the harvest of up to 12 beef, 20 pork, or 30 lambs per day. The finished carcasses will then be transported in a refrigerated truck to the processing plant.

An exciting element of this plan is the development of the North Cascade Meats ™, A Farmers’ Cooperative brand. The cooperative’s board of directors has developed and agreed upon common production standards for beef and lamb that ensure animals are pasture raised and grass finished (no grains), pork is pasture raised, no feed antibiotics or hormones are used, no petroleum-based fertilizers are used on pastures, and no detrimental impacts to riparian areas are permitted. NCMPC presented this program including marketing materials with positive reception from Whatcom County’s Community Food Co-op, Boundary Bay Brewery, Dirty Dan Harris Steakhouse and Seafood Restaurant, Fiamma Burger, Peace Health Food and Nutrition Services (St. Joseph Medical Center), and Western Washington University Food Services-Aramark.

Total construction, equipment, and start-up costs are budgeted at $412, 300. The cooperative is seeking to initially raise $130,000 in member equity capital and $281,750 from other sources. There will be three classes of membership based on the types of services meat producers desire including WSDA custom-exempt services, USDA-inspected services for producer direct sale (farm gate, farmers market, or other direct sale), or to participate in NCMPC’s North Cascade Meats branded wholesale distribution program. Member equity share amounts and voting rights are as follows:

  • General Membership (for WSDA custom –exempt services) ($500, one vote)
  • General Membership with NCMPC USDA Processing Endorsement (for WSDA custom- exempt and USDA-inspected services) ($2,000, two votes)
  • General Membership with NCMPC USDA Processing Endorsement and option to join North Cascade Meats, A Farmers Cooperative (all three types of services). ($2,500, three votes)

For more information contact Pat Grover, NCMPC President, info@northcascademeats.com; phone 360.255.7112; or go to www.northcascademeats.com

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