A major Canadian fast-food restaurant chain has announced it will be investing big dollars in the bovine industry and a state-of-the-art facility that is one of a kind.
A&W announced a $5 million cash injection in the University of Saskatchewan‘s (U of S) Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) on Friday to build two entirely new facilities that will benefit both the cattle industry and Canadians as a whole.
“We will better address the evolving demands of the beef consumers throughout the country while training the next generation of researchers, veterinarians, producers and policy makers,” U of S president Peter Stoicheff said.
Approximately 1,700 acres has been set for the construction of the Livestock and Food Building at the LFCE site near Clavet, Sask., in order to continue the U of S’s farm to fork approach.
“Canadian agriculture is critically important to a business like ours and to be able to support it in this way well into the future is extremely exciting for all of us,” A&W president and CEO Susan Senecal said.
The two new facilities are expected to be complete by spring of 2018 and every Saskatchewan resident and beyond, said officials, should care.
“What they’re going to get is more nutritious beef produced with less environmental cost and it’s going to improve the welfare of the cattle,” said Mary Buhr, dean of the College of Agriculture and Bioresources for the U of S.
A&W comes with some controversy in this part of the country after cattle producers and Premier Brad Wall had a major beef with the company after the chain said it sourced meat from outside the country in order to match standards set out by the company.
WATCH BELOW: Wall criticizes A&W for using non-Canadian producers
Talks between the franchise and the university began a year ago and here’s why Buhr said differences were put aside.
“All of us – A&W, all our producers organizations – we’re all here for better beef.”
Buhr admitted that the academic institution had a tough conversation with the company but they’re all moving on towards a better outcome.
“If you’re not answering the questions when an opportunity comes up – you’re not going to be able to seize that the way somebody else is,” Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association CEO Ryder Lee said.
With nothing quite like it in the world, what it will be able to achieve for the world is something officials say they’re all looking forward to.