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Expanded Slaughter Capacity Offers Canada Export Benefits

by 5m Editor
5 January 2006, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2015. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 2015

An official with Maple Leaf Foods says the expansion of Western Canada's hog slaughtering capacity offers the Canadian pork industry many benefits.

In July Maple Leaf unveiled plans to spend 160 million dollars to replace and expand its aging Mitchel's Gourmet Foods plant in Saskatoon and in November OlyWest announced plans to build a 200 million dollar pork plant in Winnipeg.

Maple Leaf senior director of business development for vertical coordination Garry Stott suggests the drivers are to reduce Canada's reliance on moving hogs into the US market.

"Even though this is an integrated North American market, there always seems to be trade irritants when we keep increasing the number of live hogs to the US so this increased packing capacity or increased shackle space should certainly go a long way toward reducing that irritant in mitigating the risk of moving live hogs across the border.

Together with our plant at Brandon, there's additional capacity there to process a lot more hogs here in Canada. The benefit to that is you're adding more value and retaining more of the added value here in Canada.

Secondly it reduces the risk that pertains to trade actions against the Canadian pork industry because, when we process and package the pork here at home, certainly we have more options selling to many different countries. Maple Leaf is currently selling pork products to more than 40 countries throughout the world."

Stott suggests the expanded capacity will reduce our border risk on live hogs and, at the same time, give us a lot more opportunity to sell these added value pork products to many different countries in the world.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor