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Western Pork Processors Desire More Saskatchewan Grown Hogs

12 February 2016, at 6:00am

CANADA - The Chair of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says there's a strong desire among western Canada's pork processing plants to be able to access increased numbers of slaughter hogs from Saskatchewan, writes Bruce Cochrane.

In order to improve returns to pork producers through reduced transportation distances and costs, the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board has been working to attract expanded processing capacity to the province.

Sask Pork chair Florian Possberg says, by expanding processing capacity in Saskatchewan, we create a local market that has a lot less freight costs.

Florian Possberg-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:

We do produce about 2,000,000 hogs annually here in the province.

About half those hogs are owned by Olymel, former Big Sky Farms company, and they would almost exclusively go to the Red Deer Olymel plant.

Saskatchewan, the Thunder Creek plant does roughly 6,000 hogs a week.

In addition probably about a third or a quarter to a third of our hogs would go to Manitoba plants.

The significant ones there are Brandon, Maple Leaf plant and Neepawa, Hylife plant.

I think there's interest in the Red Deer plant, in the Brandon plant and the Moose Jaw plant to have additional supplies come to their plants.

Probably Thunder Creek in Moose jaw is in the best position to encourage Saskatchewan production but I think the other companies as well, Maple Leaf and Olymel and Hylife would very much like to see additional hog production availability for their plants.

Possberg says Sask Pork is taking a Saskatchewan first approach in terms of processing capacity but where there's a demand, the province's producers are being encouraged to supply the needs of all of our western Canadian pork processing plants.

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