“We knew our fundamental purpose was to increase meat processing capacity for the Boundary region, but we didn’t really know what that would look like,” said Moes. “We had an idea that the cooperative model would be a key part of that.”
A unique aspect of the model Moes looked at includes what is sometimes referred to as “hook” shares or shares that promise delivery and receipt of a certain amount of product. This type of share better guarantees that the processor will take an animal and that the producer will deliver it. Together, the process is designed to add a level of trust between stakeholders.
“By selling hook shares, yeah, we were raising capital, but really, what we were doing is giving the security to the processor that animals were going to be there,” said Moes. “Because if I’m paying 300 bucks for a hook share, that’s the right that that animal will be processed, but it’s also the obligation … that’s the glue that holds it all together.”