Northumberland Lamb Marketing Cooperative
Contact: Peter
Address: 24 Brookside Branch Road Bible Hill, NS, B6L 2A6
Phone: 902-895-4262
About Us
In 1982, a group of experienced Pictou County sheep farmers formed Northumberland Lamb Marketing Co-op Limited, commonly known as NorthumberLamb; arguably the most successful lamb marketing co-operative in the country. They hoped to develop a single producer controlled marketing agency for all lambs produced in the region. They knew if the Maritimes was going to have a successful sheep industry, a better marketing system was required.

In 1980 and 1981, a number of experiments took place such as working with the Halifax Farmers’ Market and shipping on a regular basis to Sobey’s. These experiments were followed by establishing the co-operative.

Under the new co-op, retail outlets got the freshest possible lamb, a uniform carcass of high quality, a guaranteed weekly supply, and a long marketing season which stretched from May through February. For his part, the farmer got information on weights, carcass dressing percentage, a price that was known in advance, an equal opportunity to ship his lambs, and an opportunity to plan ahead.

The first official meeting of NorthumberLamb was held on April 13, 1982. There were 7 members and 5 were present for this meeting. The first President was Mel Loughead, Vice President was David Weber, Secretary was Cathleen Kneen, Market Organizer and Treasurer was Brewster Kneen. Shortly after this meeting, Michael Isenor was hired as Marketing Manager. In the first week, 7 lambs were sold; 12 the next week. By September 1145 lambs had been sold; about 85 per week.

Today, the Co-op is going strong, buying lambs from dozens of producers throughout the Maritimes, and supplying lamb 12 months a year to retailers and some of the best restaurants in Atlantic Canada. We have been a federally inspected abattoir and processor since July, 2015. And currently we are the only large animal, CFIA inspected abattoir in Nova Scotia. A CFIA inspector is on site daily, as well we have a veterinarian who is on site for each of our slaughter days to ensure that our lamb are healthy, are treated humanely and with the utmost care.

The operation is overseen by a Board of Directors, each with many years of lamb production and business experience behind them. Since 1982, the co-operation and commitment from our manager, employees, producers and directors has allowed this co operative to persevere and grow.