Canadian entrepreneur joins ranks with North American industry pioneers Ray Kroc, Col. Sanders, and Dave Thomas

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 2 /CNW/ - Ralph Cator, Founder of Mississauga-based Cardinal Meat Specialists Limited, is joining ranks with some of North America's most celebrated industry pioneers following a special ceremony hosted by the North American Meat Processors Association. Cator, Ray Kroc, Dave Thomas, and Colonel Harland Sanders are among the 2010 inductees into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame.

"This year's inductees are rightfully credited with fostering much of the profound change, remarkable progress and success of the North American meat industry," said Dan Murphy, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Meat Industry Hall of Fame. "We're proud to celebrate their legacies."

The Meat Industry Hall of Fame was formed in 2008 to honour the accomplishments of the meat, poultry and livestock industries' leading figures, and to recognize the ways in which their vision, skill and dedication have shaped and sustained the meat industry as the leading sector of food production in North America.

Cator, a self-made entrepreneur whose career began in his father's butcher shop, founded Cardinal Meat Specialists in 1966. Under his leadership, the company grew from a small restaurant meat supplier into a national, full-service foodservice supplier of meat, poultry, fresh and packaged products. Today, Cardinal produces an average of 3 million burgers per week and 300,000 fully cooked meat products in its two Mississauga facilities.

"Cardinal's success lies in our commitment to quality and innovation. We have set industry standards in the adoption of new technologies, food safety, product innovation and employee engagement," said Cator.

In 1992, Cator was named the first Canadian president of the National Association of Meat Purveyors. Under his leadership, the organization transformed into the North American Meat Processors association (NAMP).

"Cardinal's leadership position in North America is due to the hard work of my father, who built the company into a major player in the industry," said Ralph's son Brent Cator, President, Cardinal Meat Specialists Limited. "He laid the solid foundation upon which we continue to build."

Ralph Cator currently serves as Chairman of Cardinal's Board of Directors. 

This year's inductees into the Hall of Fame include:

  • Richard Bond, CEO, President and Director, Tyson Foods Inc.
  • Ralph Cator, Founder, Cardinal Meat Specialists Limited
  • William D. Farr, Farr Feeders
  • Joel Johnson, Chairman, President & CEO, Hormel Foods Corporation
  • H. Kenneth Johnson, Vice President - Meat Science, National Live Stock & Meat Board; Executive Director, National Cattlemen's Beef Association
  • Ray Kroc, Founder & Chairman, McDonald's Corporation
  • Dr. Roger Mandingo, Professor, Animal Science Department, University of Nebraska
  • Robert E. Rust, Professor Emeritus, Animal Science, Iowa State University
  • Col. Harland Sanders, Founder, Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • Dr. Jeff W. Savell, Regents Professor and E.M. "Manny" Rosenthal Chairholder in Animal Science, Texas A&M University
  • Deven Scott, Vice President - Member Services, American Meat Institute; Executive Vice President, North American Meat Processors Association
  • Dave Thomas, Founder, CEO, Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers

About Cardinal Meats

Since 1966, Cardinal Meat Specialists Ltd. has prepared and supplied the highest quality, portion-controlled meats in the Canadian retail and foodservice industry. With a commitment to safety, quality and productivity, Cardinal specializes in providing premium burgers and fully-prepared meats to restaurants and retail customers across Canada. For more information, please visit www.CardinalMeats.com.

For further information:

Debra Douglass, Pilot PMR for Cardinal Meats, 416-462-0199, ext. 24, debra@pilotpmr.com