Soleterra d’Italia is underway with the construction of our plant located just outside of Acme, AB! The stand up-concrete walls are in place, and the majority of our foundation dirt work is completed. Following the pouring of our flooring, all mechanical work shall commence.
The Soleterra d’Italia plant will employ 30 to 40 people at full production. There will be opportunities for committed local people to be trained for this work, as well as others who may choose to come from other locations. It is the hope of the Soleterra d’Italia organization that most people will end up being part of the local communities. We believe Acme’s proximity to the #2 highway will help provide the workforce required for the plant if there are not enough people in the local Acme/Beiseker/Linden/Irricana area. It is anticipated that at least two experts from Italy will relocate to the Soleterra d’Italia plant to supervise and train staff in the making of premium quality salami and prosciutto.
Our Italian partners, the Simonini family, have designed the layout of the plant, and are working with equipment suppliers in Italy for the specialized equipment needed. The exterior of the plant will be constructed of precast concrete insulated panels, which are preferred for their strength and durability.
The Soleterra d’Italia plant will also include space to accommodate the Soleterra office, as well as the Sunterra Farms head office.
The Soleterra plant will be the only one of its kind in Western Canada, and one of only a few in all of Canada. With the quality attributes of pork coming from Sunterra Meat and Farms, allowing our products to be fully traceable from farm to dinner plate, our products will be a unique addition to the marketplace.
In summary, the plant will be a world class facility in an excellent position to access the U.S. market as well as the growing markets in Asia with high quality, fully traceable product from the farm of origin. We believe that the product from this plant will be of the highest quality produced anywhere in the world. It is an extremely unique opportunity that has come about as a result of two partners with complementary businesses coming together to form a global partnership.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What will be the location of the proposed plant?
The proposed location of the plant is on our land, north of highway 575 and east of Range Road 260, behind the existing tree row.
What is the purpose of the plant?
The plant will process fresh, refrigerated pork (primarily legs) delivered from the Sunterra Meats plant in Trochu. Initially the volume of deliveries will start low and build up over time, eventually reaching the plant’s capacity of two to three truckloads per week. Products will include superior quality Italian prosciutto, ham, and salami, made from Sunterra pork.
How big will it be?
Phase 1 will be approximately 50,000 square feet. The plant will be made up of a number of rooms for the processing and curing of the meat, as well as administrative offices for Soleterra d’Italia and the relocated head office of Sunterra Farms from Acme.
What kind of construction will the building be made of?
It will be constructed of precast concrete and house specialized heating, refrigeration and ventilation equipment as well as storage, slicing and packaging equipment.
Will there be any live animals for slaughtering at this plant?
Only federally inspected fresh meat will be delivered to this plant. There will be no live animals or slaughtering here.
What kind of odors will be associated with the plant?
Without any live animals or rendering occurring at the plant, there will be very little, if any odor. The natural curing process does not involve any smoking of the product, eliminating that potential odor as well. The offices for both Soleterra and Sunterra will be located at this plant, and we are confident it will be a pleasant place for them to be.
What kind of traffic will be coming and going from the plant when it is up and running?
Incoming meat deliveries will occur one to three times per week. Other traffic will include personal vehicles of employees coming to work and returning home, the majority working a five day week, while some will work on weekend days.
How much water will the plant need?
On a full production day, it is anticipated that the plant will utilize 5,000 - 10,000 gallons per day (the equivalent of the output from one garden hose), primarily for washing the product and cleaning the facilities.
How many people will work there and are there opportunities for interested local people?
In full production, the plant staff will number between 30 and 40 people. Some will be very specialized in the process of the natural curing itself, and others will be skilled in meat cutting, slicing and packaging. It is anticipated that there will be opportunities for committed local people who are willing to be trained for this work, as well as others who may choose to come from other locations. It is the hope of the Soleterra organization that most of the employees will be from the local communities.
Can some of the products be bought at the plant?
There will be no retail sales of meat at the plant, but the products will be available locally and through Sunterra retail stores and other supermarkets that choose to carry them.
When is first production expected to begin?
We are expecting to begin production out of our plant in Fall/Winter 2017. Please keep in mind however, that products such as our prosciutto requires copious amounts of time to achieve the best possible quality. Products such as this will be available much later.
About Soleterra d’Italia
Industria Simonini Salumi was formed in 1927 by Celestino and Cesarina Simonini. The business began with the construction of a small slaughterhouse. Almost 90 years and four generations later, the Simonini family has expanded the business into a name synonymous with top quality cooked and cured Italian meat products. The company uses traditional methods to produce crudo prosciutto, salami, mortadella, pancetta, coppa, cotto, bresaola, and cotto prosciutto. Industria Simonini Salumi processes approximately 1.5 million legs each year, or approximately 5% of the total Italian prosciutto production and four times the total Canadian prosciutto production.
The seeds of Sunterra took root on the family farm over 60 years ago near Acme, Alberta. Sunterra was founded by Stan and Flo Price, their close friends and business partners, Dr. Jack Greenway, Dr. Howard Fredeen, Ken Woolley and their son Dave Price. With hogs of superior genetics and industry-leading practices, the farm grew bigger and better. A processing plant, located in Trochu, Alberta, was purchased in the 1980’s to focus on fresh pork processing, and today Sunterra exports over 70% of its pork to discerning international markets. To showcase the top quality meat and provide customers a unique fresh food European-style shopping experience, Sunterra Markets were launched and now total nine locations in Calgary and Edmonton. Today, the business includes many wonderful people contributing to the business success, and involves Ben Woolley and members of the next two generations of Prices with Ray Price leading the Sunterra organizations and Glen Price leading the Sunterra retail business.
The unique partnership of the Canadian Price family and the Italian Simonini family was the start of something great. Each was impressed with the other’s product. The wonderful, varied and timeless tastes of the Simonini prosciutto, salami, cooked hams and more, are outstanding. The superior qualities of Sunterra pork, with marbling, bright meat colour, white and firm fat cover and enhanced taste profile, together represent the very best pork for the production of prosciutto.
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