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Support for Saskatchewan Pork Processing Plant Appears Strong

by 5m Editor
14 December 2006, at 10:52am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2264. 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 2264

A survey circulated by the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board shows a high level of support for the development of a Saskatchewan pork processing plant.

Maple Leaf Foods decision to close its hog slaughtering plant in Saskatoon has raised several concerns related to a potential lack of processing capacity, increased transportation costs, and higher losses during transportation.

Last month officials of Sask Pork met with producers to discuss options and circulated a mail out survey to assess the level of producer interest in investing in and committing to contract hogs to a new facility. Sask Pork general Manager Neil Ketilson says support appears strong.

"They were asked to select between three different choices and the first, a direction to Sask Pork that our organization leave the matter alone and let the marketplace do what ever it's going to do, secondly that producers would simply market and find alternative capacity for themselves and we would not be involved and thirdly a very firm commitment that Sask Pork develop a business plan, put some capital together if that's what was required and find a marketing partner so that we could actually move ahead and build a plant in Saskatchewan.

By far and away well over 80 percent of the respondents that we had come back were positive that they wanted to move forward, build a plant.

What that means in terms of numbers is we've over achieved the critical mass of a million head that we would require for the plant that we envision doing in the province here."

Ketilson says the board will be meeting in the near future to determine next steps, including attracting a marketing partner, securing financing and putting together a business plan, after which producers will be asked to make a final decision on participation.

He says the hope is to have the core part of the business deal struck as early this winter as possible.

Staff Farmscape.Ca

5m Editor