Planned Upgrade to Maple Leaf Plants Applauded

by 5m Editor
15 March 2012, at 7:33am

CANADA - Manitoba's pork producers are applauding upgrades announced last week by Maple Leaf Foods to its pork processing plants in Winnipeg and Brandon, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Last week the federal government announced it's providing just over 4.5 million dollars through the 60-million dollar Slaughter Improvement Program to help Maple Leaf Foods upgrade its pork processing plants in Brandon and Winnipeg, including the installation of new line processing, heat recovery, and packaging equipment, as well as new value-added production lines.

Manitoba Pork Council Chair Karl Kynoch observes, for western Canadian pork producers to make a profit, they have to be able to get more money for their hogs from the packing plants so hopefully this investment will make the packing plants more efficient which will improve their ability to compete in the world market and, if they can turn a profit, hopefully some of that profit will trickle back to the farmer.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

The pork producers in Manitoba, we export a lot of our product out of this province and to do that we need the processors to be exporting that product so any time that these processors can turn that product into a high ended product and also pull more out of the carcass then hopefully they can return more back to the producer.

The producer is very dependent on these processing plants becoming world leading plants.

They have to compete on a world market so they've got to be state of the art in both production and in food safety.

Any time they can make efficiencies to the plant to be able to improve that and stay on top of the leading edge technology, then hopefully it will turn into more profits for us.

Mr Kynoch notes for the past few years Canada's pork producers have been faced with huge challenges ranging from low hog prices to the high Canadian dollar but they've finally gotten back to the point where they're turning a profit and, while high feed costs have taken a some of that profit from the industry, the outlook is better than it's been in years.

He suggests the federal government's willingness to come to the table with money to help upgrade these packing plants shows it has confidence in the long term viability of the industry.

Further Reading

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