Pork Producers Applaud Planned Expanded Hog Slaughtering Capacity

by 5m Editor
12 March 2008, at 11:03am

CANADA - Pork producers are applauding new funding agreements that will allow the expansion of processing capacity at Manitoba's two federally inspected hog slaughtering plants, Bruce Cochrane.

Earlier this week funding agreements were announced that will allow the completion of upgrades to industrial wastewater treatment plants in Brandon and Neepawa.

The upgrades will allow Maple Leaf to increase production at its Brandon processing plant to about 4.5 million head per year and move to a full second shift and allow Hytek to increase capacity at its Springhill Farms processing plant at Neepawa to about 1.4 million hogs per year.

Manitoba Pork Council Chair Karl Kynoch says increased processing capacity is important on several fronts.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

One, it gives producers more opportunitty to keep their animals here at home and allows more processing capacity which is something we need in this province.

It also will go a long ways into reducing the risk of trade, for this province ships a lot of hogs into the U.S. that go down there live and are produced down there or even go down there direct for slaughter.

Any time you do that it gets to be an irritant at the border so, if we can keep more of those animals at home here, it'll go a long way to reducing the risk of trade.

Also, on top of that, the hogs are produced a lot closer to market and will reduce the cost of transportation.

The other issue that we're facing now is Country of Origin Labelling and that's coming to a head in September which is going to be a real challenge.

Some of the plants in the U.S. are now saying that they're not going to buy hogs from Canada or hogs that originate out of Canada as weanlings so it's very important that we get this slauightering capacity increased here at home to reduce some of that risk and some of the pressure it creates at the border for getting animals across.

Kynoch suggests, if were able to process all of our hogs at home, Mandatory COOL would not be an issue because we'd have a home grown product labelled "Product of Canada" eliminating many of the concerns expected down the road.

5m Editor