Closed hotels and restaurants puts strain on Quebec's veal industry

The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting Quebec's veal producers hard, with closed restaurants driving prices down on even the choicest cuts.

“The fact that hotels and restaurants are closed means that parts that were intended for catering are unsold and are not being found in grocery stores and butcher shops” said Beauce-based veal producer Pierre-Luc Nadeau.

Nadeau estimated that 60 per cent of Quebec's veal is normally intended for the hotel and restaurant industries.

Nadeau said the industry is also affected by the limited space allocated for veal products on grocery store shelves.

He added that many Quebecers are not in the habit of preparing veal at home.

“It's affordable. I think it's just a question of knowing the product and how to prepare it,” he said, pointing to online instructional videos.

He called on stores to stock Quebec veal, saying they should promote a “buy local” approach.

“I think there is a way it can be done. The problem is that the consuder doesn't have the option of buying it because the product is not available,” he said.

Quebec is home to more than 300 family farms that raise almost 100 per cent of Canada's milk-fed veal and 60 per cent of the country's grain-fed veal according to data from the Quebec Cattle Producers.  

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