Working at Cardinal

At the heart of it, the legacy of Cardinal is a story of people.

The story of Cardinal is that of a highly entrepreneurial and principled enterprise built on a set of core values that have guided the Cator family and their company over the course of half a century.

Founder Ralph Cator was passionate about building a company that provided the opportunity for employees to experience personal growth and follow their dreams. Today, under the leadership of son Brent Cator, Cardinal continues to provide opportunities within a culture of empowerment and respect.


President and Owner of Cardinal Meat Specialists, Brent Cator leads a dedicated team focused on being Canada’s leading burger and sealed environment cooked protein manufacturer. Operating two plants with one in Mississauga, ON and the other in Brampton, ON, Cardinal supplies top restaurateurs and major retailers with a range of meat products, with an emphasis on quality, consistency, and food safety.

Brent’s grandfather started the Cator family in the meat business over 90 years ago, and his father, Ralph Cator, started Cardinal Meats Specialists in 1966. Brent has worked at Cardinal for 32 years, learning every aspect of the business along the way. His training and experiences in all facets of the company have provided a well-rounded view and has provided many insights into what makes it successful. It is his goal to create and deliver products that exceed customers’ expectations and set the bar for the North American marketplace. In 2013, we launched our brand promise “You Can With Cardinal,” which emphasizes our company’s commitment to our customers, our team, and the industry.

Brent is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario. He has always placed a high importance on continuing education for the entire company, and has completed numerous courses including those at the Wharton School of Business and the Richard Ivey School (Leading Entrepreneurial Program).

A cornerstone of Cardinal’s success is innovation. The Company attributes much of its growth to its industry-leading approach to food safety and innovation. Brent is proud of Cardinal’s many accomplishments including being the first Canadian beef processor to receive the HACCP designation, and the first to utilize DNA lab technology for microbiology. Innovative thinking led to the creation of patented equipment that has streamlined the manufacturing processes, and the development of our fully cooked technology that produces market-leading products for Canadian and U.S. foodservice operators and consumers. Brent’s passion extends to many industry initiatives. His belief has always been that food safety is not a competition and that working together to improve food safety standards will only result in a stronger/healthier industry. With this in mind, Brent has invested and developed unique technologies for cooked proteins, served on a North American E-Coli task force, and represented the processing industry on a Canadian Food Inspection Agency task force that focused on best practices and regulatory changes for a safer food supply in Canada. Brent is a regular contributor to national magazines where he shares his findings on leading edge technologies and advancements.

Brent is a past-President of the North American Meat Processors (now North American Meat Institute) and has actively been involved in Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFÉ) for many years.