PEI Cattle Producers Talk Burger Love

Islanders are encouraged to know their producer, ask questions

With all of the talk about burgers and burger love, we wanted to go straight to the source of the primary ingredient – beef! PEI Cattle Producers’ (PEICP) Executive Director, Rinnie Bradley answered a few questions we had about how PEI Burger Love has “fired up” local love for our Island producers.

What impact has this campaign had for PEICP’s members?
I believe that if you are a beef producer on the Island, the PEI Burger Love has struck up conversation with many, whether it be a neighbor or a complete stranger. It is definitely a conversation starter. People may ask more questions about how they can purchase their beef as opposed to buying in your local retail supermarket. Because many beef producers don’t advertise where their beef is going it’s a good way for locals to find out where to get it.

There’s a great deal of support for local beef during April’s Burger Love event. Does this increase in awareness help local producers showcase the value of their product year-round?
Definitely. Consumers like to ask specific questions moreso now than ever before. When asking a restaurant where their beef came from, they didn’t really know, it was never specifically identified in the menu either. Whether it be organic, grass fed, healthy and humane, if they enjoy their burger they are bound to ask who supplied the beef. If you eat something really good you’re more apt to eat it again. A lot of the restaurants are keeping their burgers on the menu all year round which will help keep Island beef top of mind. Producers are becoming more consumer aware as well and are happy to supply what consumers are looking for.

 

Does this campaign challenge production lines, or are producers and processors aware of the volume and ready for it?
Many processors have been doing this campaign for a couple of years in a row and have now come up with a plan to smooth out the kinks from previous years. Many have been preparing and storing beef as early as the fall to ensure they don’t run out of local beef. If they do, restaurants are advised to have a backup plan with another supplier. We try to prepare new restaurants for the challenge of keeping up with the demand, but until they’re actually involved there is no way to predict how well they will do.

If the producers could say one thing to the fans of PEI Burger Love, what would you want them to know?
Appreciate the time and effort that goes into producing real quality beef. Our small family farms raise cattle in a very traditional way, an animal’s well being is our top priority. Our beef is amongst the best in the world. Ask questions, and reach out to your local neighbour if you are wondering where you can purchase locally.