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Meat Processing Industry In BC, Canada

The Meat Processing Industry is Canada’s fourth largest employer. There is a high demand for butchers in all areas of this industry in British Columbia. In 3 to 5 years time, many experienced butchers will be due to retire. Changing consumer tastes for specialty meats, high-end butcher shops and naturally-raised products are also increasing demand for trained meat cutters.

There are three main types of butchers:

  • The wholesalers and supermarket chains butcher. This type of butchers cut large pieces of meat into steaks and chops, shape and tie roasts, and grind beef for sale as chopped meat. They may also package, price and attractively display meat item
  • Meat shops or markets butchers that has direct contact with customers. This butchers assist customers to choose meats and prepare special requests. They also weigh the meat, price it, and prepare specialty cuts.
  • The meatpacking plants butchers where they slaughter large animals such as cattle and pigs, and cut the large segments of meat into smaller portions. They may work on an assembly line and be responsible for a particular cut of meat.

They are all responsible for ensuring the quality of meat, and maintaining approved sanitation and safety programs.

Responsibilities of a butcher and meat cutter:

  • They cut, trim and prepare standard cuts of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish according to customer orders
  • They are responsible for grinding and slicing cooked meats using power grinders and slicing machines
  • They prepare displays of meat, poultry, fish and shellfish
  • They shape, lace, tie roasts and other meats, poultry or fish

Am I Suited For This Job?

Butchers must:

  • keep work environment clean all the time
  • Follow and maintain safety procedures
  • Be able to work with machinery in a challenging environment
  • Be familiar with food handling, food safety, food preparation and presentation
  • Have good vision and hand-eye coordination
  • Physical strength and stamina
  • Have excellent personal hygiene

Butchers are always on their feet for most of the workday. As a butcher, you require physical strength for lifting heavy pieces of meat, so general good health is essential. Most importantly is having a good hand-eye coordination because you will work with sharp instruments such as knives and saws plus other meat cutting machines.

Working in smaller stores as a butcher have more varied work and also have more contact with the public unlike those working in large wholesale firms, so good customer service is important.

It’s a good career choice for someone who likes a fast-paced environment, likes working with people, and enjoys working as part of a team.

The Wages And Benefits For Butchers And Meat Cutters In Meat Processing Industry

Butchers and meat cutters average annual median salary is $31,285, with hourly wages ranging from $11.35 to $20 n British Columbia. The average annual median salary for meat cutters and Industrial butchers is $37,416, with hourly wages ranging from $11 to $28. The wage is based on experience, skill level, type of butcher and region of the province.

You can also apply as a new store manager in British Columbia.