for October 20, 2011
Manitoba's pork producers are applauding a restructuring plan that will see Maple Leaf Foods invest 560 million dollars to upgrade and expand its value added processing capacity.
Maple Leaf Foods announced yesterday it plans to invest 560 million dollars over the next three years to establish a world class prepared meats network as part of its efforts to reduce operating costs and increase productivity.
Under the plan Maple Leaf will build a new 395 million dollar prepared meats facility in Hamilton, expand existing plants in Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Brampton and close plants in North Battleford, Kitchener, Hamilton, Toronto, Moncton and a small facility in Winnipeg.
Maple Leaf will also consolidate four distribution centres into two, a new facility in Ontario to serve eastern Canada and an existing facility in Saskatoon to serve western Canada and close distribution centres in Moncton, Burlington, Kitchener and Coquitlam.
Manitoba Pork Council chair Karl Kynoch welcomes the news.
Clip-Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council:
The pork industry, we need the whole value chain to be making money and to stay efficient and it's going to make Maple Leaf a little bit more efficient in their further processing.
For the pork industry here in Manitoba, to see them spend this type of money [they're putting about 85 million right here in the Lagimodiere plant in Winnipeg] that's really positive for producers.
It tells producers than Maple Leaf is implanted here in Manitoba for the long term.
They have their Brandon plant which is the newest state of the art industry plant that's actually in Canada right now.
Now to see them put 85 million dollars into further processing in Winnipeg, that just tells producers and reassures them that they're here for the long term so we will have an outlet for our hogs.
Kynoch says the further you can process the product, the more money you can recoup from the market and hopefully that will trickle back to the producer.
He says Maple Leaf is demonstrating a long term vision and that it will be in the meat business for years to come which will also allow producers to do some long term planning.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council