'We made a mistake': Earls to bring back Alberta beef after turning to U.S supplier

The Canadian restaurant chain Earls is bringing back Alberta beef, reversing course on its controversial decision to get its meat exclusively from a U.S. supplier that specializes in humanely raised and slaughtered cattle. 

"We made a mistake when we moved away from Canadian beef," said Earls president Mo Jessa. 

Earls announced last week that it would start sourcing its beef from a Kansas ranch that is accredited by the non-profit group Humane Farm Animal Care.

The Virginia-based organization operates a program called Certified Humane that inspects farms, ranches and slaughter facilities, and certifies meat and dairy products. 

That move prompted angry reactions from representatives of the Canadian cattle industry. 

Alberta Beef Producers chair Bob Lowe said it was a "slap in the face," and that Earls seemed to be insinuating that Canadian ranchers do not raise their animals in a humane fashion.

In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, Jessa said Earls has deep roots in Alberta and the company wants to work with local ranchers to build a supply of Alberta beef that meets its criteria for humanely produced meat. 

"We want to make this right," he said. "We started in Edmonton and we have many operations and employees here. Alberta has supported us. We need to support Alberta, especially in tough times." 

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