Blue Goose to sell off all its Island farmland

Still unsure what to do with Carter Bay property

MANITOULIN—Blue Goose will soon be selling off all its farmland, including buildings, on Manitoulin Island, a local company representative told the Recorder earlier this week.

“I talked to the company spokesman at the head office of Blue Goose,” said Jim Martin, of Blue Goose, on Monday. “He said nothing has been finalized, but the farm properties and buildings on Manitoulin Island are going to be offered for sale, using local real estate agents.”

Mr. Martin stressed that, “Meeker’s fishery in Burnt Island will carry on as it has.”

As for the Carter Bay property, Mr. Martin could not offer any comment as to what its future would hold, but earlier this year Blue Goose had proposed that Central Manitoulin take it over and lease it from the company.

In the March 28, 2014 edition of the Recorder, Blue Goose announced that it is winding down all of its beef operations on Manitoulin Island.

“This very difficult decision was made following an in-depth review of the long term viability of our beef business on Manitoulin Island,” stated Jean Lepine, EVP, risk management and communications with Blue Goose. “We have decided to focus our resources in growing our aquaculture business on Manitoulin, led by Mike Meeker. “

“Like all new companies with growth plans, you have to sometimes make difficult decisions to protect the long-term viability of the entire business,” explained Mr. Lepine. “Blue Goose is no different and has to make the best decisions it can to protect the future of our land, our people and the animals. We believe we have a very bright future across all three proteins (fish, beef and chicken) and our aquaculture business on Manitoulin is growing according to our plans.” He also explained that the company was transitioning the cattle, humanely, to other owners, on and off the Island.

“On a positive note, to improve the efficiency of our aquaculture business we are investing on Burnt Island to restore and repair the pre-existing fish hatchery on the Purvis property,” Mr. Lepine told the Recorder previously. “In time, this will allow us to get closer to our dream of vertical integration of our fish operations on Manitoulin. In the first phase, the Burnt Island facility will allow us to farm fingerlings (fish) and will eventually transition to a fish hatchery. This Burnt Island operation will complement other aquaculture investments we have already made on Manitoulin.”

“The decision (on its Island beef operations) was tough—it was a hard decision to make and we are trying to redeploy all the employees across the rest of the business,” said Mr. Lepine. “Our focus right now is on the people involved and its animals.”