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Industry Changes Blamed for Minot Plant Closure

by 5m Editor
2 August 2011, at 10:22am

US - The president and CEO of Cloverdale Foods blames significant changes in the pork industry, especially over the past two years, for the decision to close the company's Minot, North Dakota pork packing plant, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Late last month, Cloverdale Foods announced the permanent closure of its Minot pork packing plant.

The Minot plant, which was shut down in June to prepare for flooding of the Mouse River, had supplied Cloverdale's Mandan facility with product for further processing into summer sausage, hot dogs, ham, bacon and other value-added pork products for over 30 years and had provided a market for 600 to 800 western Canadian hogs per week.

Cloverdale president and CEO, T.J. Russell, says that following the Minot plant's closure, half a dozen or so mid-western packers stepped up to fill the void.

T.J. Russell – Cloverdale Foods

We've owned and operated since, I want to say, the middle of 1979 and we've always had a pretty good balance of hogs coming out of the Dakotas and western Minnesota and eastern Montana as well as the two prairie provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

In fact, I would say that the prairie provinces and North Dakota probably supplied about 80 per cent of the pigs to the plant if you looked at the three of them together.

We've always sold Canadian pork.

In our opinion, it's been part of the business and the portfolio of products that we've sold and I think in many respects the quality of the pigs has helped us establish the catalogue of sales that we've got.

I hope that we're able to continue that in some capacity but I just don't have as much control right now as I used to.


T.J. Russell says that during the Minot plant's closure, there were other people who stepped to the table and made Cloverdale exceptionally competitive on the processed meat side so you have to ask yourself some questions as to whether you belong in the slaughter business any more.