Bringing Innovation to the Meat Industry

Belmont Meats

Belmont Meats was established in 1966 to bring quality and innovation to the retail and foodservice meat manufacturing and processing industry. “We didn’t set out to be an ordinary meat manufacturer, or to create ordinary products in our facility,” the company’s CEO, Duffy Smith explains. “Our goal is to ensure that our products are delectable, made with only the finest ingredients and made exactly the way you like them.”

Nearly fifty years after it was launched, the Toronto based company continues to live up to its founding vision. One hundred and twenty employees work to produce a variety of products, bringing in $100 million in revenue. Portion controlled steaks are a major seller and include striploin, sirloin, bacon wrapped sirloin, bacon wrapped tenderloin, plain tenderloin, rib, rib eye, T-bone, ball-tip, porterhouse, tri-tip, and pork steak products. The company’s ground meat products are also popular, and include burgers, patties, and bulk ground beef products. Seasoned and marinated products, such as Belmont’s new Tri-tip Roasts, are a big hit. These roasts cook in their own specially designed plastic packaging. No mess. No fuss. No clean up required. And they come in four delicious flavours: Texas BBQ, Santa Maria, Kansas City BBQ and Classic.

Belmont Meats specializes in “made to specification” meat products. In fact, it is the team’s ability to customize its product that truly sets it apart. “We stay ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation!” Duffy insists. “We will deliver a personalized product mix to exceed your wants and needs.” Indeed, Belmont’s experienced sales team and product development specialists work closely with each customer to build a unique product mix. The company also carefully researches global marketplaces to identify and analyze the latest trends, enabling customers to stay at the leading edge of the international market. The team also utilizes consumer guidance panels to ensure product success, striving to “continuously bring breakthrough concepts to the market,” Bryce Ivanchuk, VP Business Development, summarizes. “We will be the North American leader of protein meal solutions and the ‘leading advisors’ to our customers.”

These customers include multi-unit quick service restaurant chains, casual and fast casual dining concepts, retail supermarkets, club/warehouse stores, and specialty frozen food stores. Belmont Meats is able to accommodate a diverse client base because the company is a licensed provider of all Canadian and U.S. grades of beef, including Wagyu beef; it is also a licensed Halal and Organic manufacturer. The company’s products are marketed under the Belmont name, as well as under internationally recognized private label brands that are sold throughout Canada, the United States, and around the world.

Belmont Meats is committed to supplying the highest quality product to its customers. “We do not compromise on quality,” states Eric Van Zyl, Director of Production. Whether prepared fresh, frozen or marinated, every beef product is made from “carefully selected ingredients so they are guaranteed to possess the most exquisite flavour.” Industry preferred procedures including Formax burger Standard Fill®, Tenderform®, and Homestyle® processing methods ensure that the product will be of high quality and have the proper texture. “These advanced systems create fluffier home style patties with ‘fresh from the kitchen’ quality that shrinks less, and cooks evenly with superior texture,” the company website details. Automated portion control slicers also ensure that each portion controlled steak product is always precisely cut. In addition, Vemag® equipment forms ground meat chubs into a customized size, weight and formulation.

Advanced packaging technology ensures that all Belmont Meats products stay fresh, and Modified Atmospheric Packaging increases the shelf life of fresh products to a remarkable 21 days. Cryovac® vacuum seal packaging seals in freshness for frozen products. And, the leading edge Frigoscandia® freezing system retains product colour with consistent temperature and freeze time.

All of these processes take place within the company’s state of the art food manufacturing facility, which is located in Toronto. Quality control and safety is paramount throughout the plant. “Our facility operates under the most stringent HACCP guidelines and food safety enhancement programs,” reports Azim Hosein, Director of Technical Services. “Our processing equipment, quality assurance systems and employee food handling techniques meet the gold standards of one of North America’s most highly regarded independent food safety auditors – Cook and Thurber.” In addition to being HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) certified, the plant is SQF (Safety Quality Food) accredited by the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency), and Silliker Laboratories International, which means that all processes meet the highest global standards. The team also utilizes statistical methods to measure and guarantee quality. In addition, they work to constantly improve their systems, machinery, and processing capabilities in order to guarantee quality and safety far into the future.

This stringent quality control is essential. In the meat industry, safety must always come first – and Belmont Meats is determined to provide customers with a product that they can trust. “Food safety and providing meats of the utmost quality are our foremost priorities,” Azim explains. “The trust towards our company is established on our promise to consistently supply safe and quality products to our customers by implementing international standards and following regulatory requirements of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).”

To be sure, none of this could be achieved without a top notch team. Belmont Meats puts its people first and invests heavily in them to ensure the best results for both the company and its customers. “Our people are our greatest strength and our long term competitive advantage,” Duffy Smith points out. “Through continuous learning and cross functional teamwork, we empower our people to be leaders in the industry.” Management also works hard to promote an innovative culture so that the company will continue to develop exciting new product for its customers. Honesty and transparency are also core company values.

The company is also actively involved with the communities in which it operates. “Belmont people embrace diversity and are sensitive to the local needs of each community within which we work and serve,” its website reports. The business supports and sponsors a large number of local charities and non-profits including the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society, IWK Children’s Hospital, Camp Oochigeas, Huntington Society of Canada and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. The company also assists and sponsors local sporting teams and events.

The Belmont Meats team is also committed to their customers. Relationships are strong and long lasting. If fact, employees like to think of customers as partners. “We genuinely value our customers at Belmont Meats Ltd,” says Duffy. “Applying our knowledge and skills, we help our customers surpass even their own expectations. Executing these principles has enabled Belmont to build long term partnerships with our customers that form the cornerstone of our business. We will exceed your expectations in product design and innovation, quality and customer service.” Arguably, the single most important customer service strategy is listening carefully to customers – and acting on the knowledge that is gained. As the company website states, “at Belmont, your voice will always be heard and welcomed.”

By putting the customer first – and maintaining a commitment to quality and food safety – Belmont Meats has earned five decades of success. The team has learned to listen to customer needs – and then deliver the ideal product. As a result, the company boasts a well-deserved reputation for innovation and customer satisfaction. It is a reputation that seems likely to endure for many more decades to come.

September 23, 2017, 5:48 PM EDT

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