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Great Lakes Specialty Meats in Mitchell, Ont. Halts Production

By Amanda Brodhagen,

Great Lakes Specialty Meats of Canada, a company that had ties to Quality Meat Packing Ltd., the company that went bankrupted in May, is no longer processing hogs, Ontario Pork confirms.

Owners of the Toronto-based Quality Meats, the Schwartz family, also owned Great Lakes Specialty Meats in Mitchell, Ont.

“We have been informed that no hogs are being processed and Ontario Pork is working to ensure the smooth flow of marketing hogs in the province,” Mary Jane Quinn, communications and consumer marketing manager for Ontario Pork said in an emailed statement.

But unlike farmers who had shipped their hogs to the Toronto facility, producers were paid for all their hog shipments to Great Lakes. Ontario Pork’s marketing division announced last month that it would be offering partial compensation to farmers who never received payment for their hogs from Quality. However, the deal was only for pork producers who had shipped their pigs through Ontario Pork’s voluntary marketing division. Quality Meats owes $70-million to creditors, which includes about 70 pig farms in the province.

Prior to the news about the Mitchell plant ceasing operations, the plant processed approximately 5000 hogs per week.

“We don’t know all the details at this time or the impact this will have on the Ontario hog market,” she explained.

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