Re-Opening of Moose Jaw Pork Plant Applauded

CANADA - The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board is applauding news of the sale and planned re-opening of the Moose Jaw Pork Packers pork processing facility at Moose Jaw, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 13 May 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Langley, BC-based Donald's Fine Foods has completed the purchase of the Moose Jaw Pork Packers pork processing plant which has been sitting idle since September 2006 and is hoping to have the facility operational and processing hogs by the end of the year.

Sask Pork chair Jay McGrath says, although the Moose Jaw plant's capacity is limited to about five thousand head per week and its reopening won't take care of all of Saskatchewan's slaughtering needs, it's a positive step toward restoring some processing capacity in the province.

Jay McGrath-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board

Our last processing was Mitchell's when it closed.

I believe they were at 18 thousand to 20 thousand head a week out of that plant and when that was wound down and shut down it basically took that capacity to zero.

Moose Jaw had ran a couple of different times but it's obviously a smaller plant.

Over the last three years there's been no capacity so obviously everybody had to find a place to go with their live hogs which most went into Manitoba and Alberta so it's definitely encouraging to be able to keep some hopefully in Saskatchewan.

Everybody adapted to moving pigs farther away but, for people that were deciding whether to stay in production though this tough time, obviously freighting them farther away is also additional cost so it could have played a factor in people deciding to shut their barns down because of lack of processing in Saskatchewan.

Mr McGrath says a larger plant will still be needed to replace the capacity that was lost with the closure of the Mitchell's plant.

However he says the planned reopening of the Moose Jaw facility is encouraging and hopefully, if it can be successful, there'll be more processing down the road.

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