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Manitoba Pork Producers Applaud Maple Leaf Restructuring

by 5m Editor
16 October 2006, at 10:06am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2273. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Farm-Scape, Episode 2273

Manitoba Pork Council is applauding word that Maple Leaf Foods has decided to consolidate the majority of its hog operations in Manitoba. Last week Maple Leaf Foods announced, as part of a restructuring of it's operations due primarily to losses resulting from the rising value of the Canadian dollar, it will move all of its fresh pork processing operations to its primary processing plant located in Brandon.

As well, the company plans to add a second shift at the plant within three years. Manitoba Pork Council Chair Karl Kynoch notes it's very reassuring to the province's producers that Maple Leaf has recognized Manitoba as a leader in the hog industry.

"For us as Manitoba producers, we come out of this being one of the winners just knowing that we're going to have a sustainable packing industry in this province.

As everybody knows, in the past three years the processing industry has been losing a lot of money due to the increase in the Canadian dollar. So to see Maple Leaf going through a restructuring like this and Manitoba getting singled out as where they're going to concentrate the majority of their industry in the future here is very positive for us.

The other thing that they're talking of now is double shifting that plant over the next three years. They're also concentrating on focusing in some of the areas that they've been making money in the past which is their processed meat division and meals.

I guess, the sooner that we can see some profits back into the packing industry, the better chance that producers also have to keep receiving profits in our industry."

Kynoch is confident Maple Leaf's decision will create a huge economic spin-off for the city of Brandon and for the province of Manitoba. He says the stronger the packing industry is in Manitoba, the better off the producer will be.

He says it's reassuring to see that we're going to have the shackle space in Manitoba in the long haul and that producers are going to options and outlets to ship their hogs.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor