I want to give you an update about our boycott Earls campaign.
Canadians went into full nuclear boycott mode after Earls restaurants decided they would no longer be sourcing Canadian beef because, according to Earls corporate decision makers, it was not humane enough. That’s not true. The reality is that not enough Canadian farmers were willing to pay the certification shakedown fees to an American licensing firm to be certified “humane”. Canadian beef is as humane and healthy as it’s ever been.
At The Rebel, we started a boycott campaign and a petition. We wanted the free market to fix our beef with Earls. We knew it wouldn't happen overnight but we wanted to stand shoulder to shoulder with Canadian farmers, the way we always do at The Rebel.
We saw cracks quickly in the Earls public relations strategy. A statement made by Mo Jessa, Earls CEO, said they would be sourcing Canadian beef if enough farmers paid the certification cartel for their humane certified sticker. Not good enough.
I took the twelve thousand signatures of the patriotic Canadian beef lovers who signed our petition to Earls HQ in Vancouver. Watch the video to see how little Earls PR person, Cate Simpson cared.
But I’m happy to report some good news for you. Earls is feeling the heat and the financial consequences of their moral preening and rushing to get Alberta beef back on their plates. Earls Lethbridge owner Richard Daley, is speaking out. He said:
“There’s a million cattle on feed in Alberta, 500,000 are within a 30 mile radius of this restaurant. I’ve spoken with feedlot owners representing 300,000 of that, so yeah, we’ve gotten some flak,” “We’ve seen a 30 per cent drop in sales that’s affected our ability to remain profitable and stay open. We’ve had to lay staff off, we’ve had to cut hours.”
But it’s not a full victory and Earls is still spinning. Don’t go flooding back through the doors of all of their locations just yet. Only 7 of 59 Earls restaurants are using Canadian beef and it all still needs the silly sticker to prove the farmers are good enough. Most Alberta restaurants are still serving foreign beef, stiffing Canadians, disrespecting and insulting Canadian ranchers. And still lying about it all.
But you scared Earls. They've launched a website, www.beefreport.earls.ca, where you can see which Earls restaurants are back using Canadian beef (with the shakedown sticker on it). On that website you can also see that Earls is still spinning about Halal, saying they don’t use Halal meat, trying to use word trickery, as if there’s a difference between “halal” and “halal certified”. For a company that claims to be committed to transparency in meat sourcing, they sure like to make sure the Halal issue is clouded in double speak.
Poor Alberta waiters and waitresses are being laid off over Earls decision to insult farmers and then lie about it but their disaster-prone PR gal in Vancouver, Cate Simpson, is getting her six-figure cheque. She bungled the whole affair and underestimated our patriotism and pride. Cate Simpson has been wrong all along. If Canadians were actually asking for this fake certified humane beef, no Earls should have seen a drop in business. I bet most Earls are taking the same hit as the Lethbridge location did.
We made Earls blink. A couple times. But we aren’t done yet. So let’s save some jobs. Let’s get those customers back by going, one restaurant at a time, and pressing their bosses to save their jobs, by switching beef suppliers. To hell with Vancouver HQ. This is about Canadian solidarity — jobs for ranchers, jobs in Alberta feedlots, jobs in our local farm and ranch supply stores, and jobs for wait staff.
Earls owners should be pushing back against Vancouver HQ. They’re the ones taking the hit in the wallet. They should just tell the American abattoir to stuff it, and go down the road and buy the best beef in the world from the most humane farmers on the planet.
We’ve seen the power of the free market. We’ve seen the power of angry Canadians. But it’s not over yet.