A Visit to Hopcott Meats

After the recent outbreak of Avian flu in the Fraser Valley I started thinking a little more about how food is produced. One of the poultry barns that became infected with Avian flu housed something like 20,000 birds. That is not a farm, that is a food factory. And then the infection continued progressing through other farms with the end result of more than 200,000 birds being killed.

The scale of these operations took me by surprise. I suppose it shouldn’t have; consumer demand for cheap or inexpensive food drives agribusiness to work at creating scales of economy in order to produce food to meet the consumers demand. The result is barns with 20,000 or more chickens, turkeys or ducks housed in them.

I started to wonder if there is a better, more humane way of producing food. And then Hopcott Meats popped up on my Twitter feed. So I visited Hopcott Meats in Pitt Meadows during my winter break.

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I was interested in visiting Hopcott Meats because of their philosophy of “farm to fork” agriculture.

Hopcott Meats get all of their cattle from three ranches in the interior of BC. After the cattle leave the BC interior ranch they travel to the Hopcott Farm which is located next door to Hopcott Meats. The cattle are then raised right next to the retail store. Yes, perhaps a little morbid for the cattle to be living the good life, getting fat on the family farm right next to where they will be carved up and sold as beef but, the fact that they do live so close to the butcher shop means they are not transported hundreds of miles to a massive feedlot – and that the cows do not experience significant stress from being transported hundreds of miles.

When the cows time does come, the Hopcott Meat-bound cattle are humanely slaughtered 3 miles from the farm at a small provincially inspected plant.

Hanging Beef
Hanging Beef

After the beef has been slaughtered and taken to the Hopcott Meats butcher shop the carcasses are dry aged on the rail for 21 to 28 days. Dry aging adds to the tenderness and flavour of the meat.

Fraser Valley Veggies
Fraser Valley Veggies

However, it is not just about the beef at Hopcott Meat. They also stock a wide variety of locally grown produce. After all the Fraser Valley has some of the best farmland in BC, if not Canada. So not only can you get locally raised beef you can also buy your broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, lettuces, onions, potatoes, apples and who knows what all at Hopcott Meats.

BC Apples
BC Apples

And the very best part of shopping at Hopcott Meats? The prices are very competitive with the price you pay in the grocery store! So not only are you getting a top quality product, from a local farmer and butcher, you are not paying excessive prices for those top-quality, locally raised, locally grown and locally sourced products. This is win-win-win in my opinion.

I like the idea of Hopcott Meats and Hopcott Farm. Their motto of “know your butcher, know your food” sounds pretty good to me. I will continue to shop at Hopcott Meats.