Direct marketing and local food

Many livestock producers sell their products directly to customers or through other local channels. The NFU promotes this strategy as part of a broader shift in Canadian agriculture from a blinding focus on ever-increasing exports of low-priced commodities to instead focus on producing for domestic consumption and improving farmer net income. 

Local and regional food systems require more than just farmers willing to sell food. Local abattoirs provide an essential pathway for livestock producers who want to sell high-quality products within their communities. To facilitate the continued existence of such establishments, the NFU supports differentiated regulations appropriate to differences due to the wide range of processing facility scale, from provincially regulated mobile abattoirs to large federally regulated slaughter plants.

The benefits of local abattoirs extend far beyond just farmers. Take the example of Killarney Meats, which is a provincially inspected custom abattoir and meat processing facility for cattle, pigs, lambs, and wild game located in Killarney, MB. Their main customer base is direct marketers who sell their products in nearby larger centres such as Winnipeg. The graphic explores some of the many benefits for farmers, animals, community members, and the broader environment.

  • Taking Stock of Abattoir Regulations (
    • November 2021
    • This report reviews provincial regulations on slaughter, meat processing (cut/wrap), and marketing across Canada. It identifies where specific aspects of these regulations (or how they are applied) create barriers to local and regional meat production as well as those pieces that support thriving local and regional food systems and local producers.