Saskatchewan pork producers in despair
Several Saskatchewan pork producers are worried about the future after
Maple Leaf Foods announced to close its Saskatoon killing
As the closing down would mean pig producers have to be shipping live
animals out of the province, they even said to be considering a foray into the
slaughtering and processing business.
A spokesman of Sask Pork, the province's organisation
of all pork producers, said a possible absence of a major processor in the
vicinity puts the viability of the entire industry at risk.
Sask Pork even tried to work out several options for maintaining packer
One of those options is to purchase the existing Mitchell's Gourmet Foods
facility, scheduled to be closed in about three years. Originally this one was
expected to be replaced by an US $97 million new plant, until Maple Leaf decided
to annul those plans.
Producers might also build a new facility of their own, or partner with
Maple Leaf, Sask Pork officials said.
Most of the farmers shipping pigs to the existing plant live within 200
kilometres of the city of Saskatoon.
Costs of transports could rise by US $4.40 to $5.30 per pig if producers have to ship to plants
in elsewhere in Canada, provided there is capacity to take them - otherwise
shipping animals to the US is the only, even more expensive option.
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