Fur Farming Initiative

The Canada-Newfoundland Agreement for the Economic Development Component of the Canadian Fisheries Adjustment and Restructuring Initiative (EDC) is investing $375,000 in the purchase of equipment for a Central Feed Kitchen to support the fur-breeding industry. The kitchen facility was constructed with funding from the Department of Development and Rural Renewal and the Canada-Newfoundland Agriculture Safety Nets Initiative.

The completed feed kitchen, to be located three km south on the Bay D’Espoir Highway, will provide feed services to 14 fur breeders in Central Newfoundland, who are also shareholders in the initiative, and another four producers outside the central area. Feed produced in excess of the current local requirements will be exported to markets in other parts of Canada.

The feed kitchen will provide full-time employment for four people, casual employment for four to six, and will secure employment for 14 shareholder farmers and 33 full-time equivalent labour positions on farms.

The Fur Farming Industry Preliminary Strategic Planning document of 1988 identified the development of feed kitchens as a priority in the long-term development of a viable fur industry for the province. Newfoundland and Labrador’s fur-breeding industry suffered a temporary decline in the late 1980s due to a global downturn in fur markets. Since then, however, the fur industry has made a significant recovery; the value of Canadian fur products doubled between 1992 and 1997 from $143 million to $287 million. Markets for fur products are expanding in Japan, China and the former Soviet Union.

If Newfoundland and Labrador’s 46 existing fur breeders are to participate in this growing industry, expanding their current operations to a minimum viable level of 600 animals per farm is necessary. Accessible feed kitchens, which use waste products from the fishing, aquaculture and poultry industries to produce feed for farmed, fur-bearing animals, are essential to that expansion.

Once established the Central Feed Kitchen will become a regional model for the establishment and operations of regional feed kitchens in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Central Feed Kitchen Ltd. is an incorporated entity owned by the Newfoundland and Labrador Fur Breeders Association (51%), and the 14 shareholder farmers (49%).

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