The plans to construct a new one million-head-per-year hog slaughtering plant in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada is progressing as planned. Construction is to start this summer.
The Saskatchewan government is supporting the project; however it is not interested in an equity position. The Saskatchewan Hog Slaughter Plant Initiative is a partnership between Fishing Lake First Nation, the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board and Big Sky Farms.
Jim Ramsay, project consultant for Fishing Lake First Nation and chairman of the project has said, “Originally we were talking about construction starting in June or July of 2008 and we have not moved off of that mark.” He added, “We’ve passed our major milestone, which was the completion of the business development plan and we’re currently getting the resources together for the next phase, which is the tendering stage.”
Plans to construct follow Maple Leaf’s closure
The planning for the new plant started when Maple Leaf announced in October 2006 that it would shut down its slaughter facility in the city, leaving the province without a hog slaughtering plant. Because of the closing of Maple Leaf’s plant, farmers have had to battle with greater transportation costs as they move their hogs over greater distances.
“This will expand the market and reduce producers’ transportation costs, which are significant,” said Ramsay.