Moose Jaw may welcome a sow processing plant
Western Canada could soon have a sow processing plant. Donald’s Fine Food, a Canadian meat distribution, procurement and processing company, is conducting a feasibility study on renovating a former beef plant located in Moose Jaw, Sask.
“It's really big news for the pork industry in Western Canada because most of our cull sows are shipped to the United States at great expense,” said Mark Ferguson, the general manager at Sask Pork. A plant would allow us “to retain those animals here, process them here and add further value to those animals in Canada. For producers, it might mean a higher price for their cull sows.”
Smaller plants process some sows, but no federally inspected sow processing plants currently operate in Western Canada, said Ferguson.
Donald’s Fine Foods owns Thunder Creek Pork, which is a market hog processing plant in Moose Jaw. The potential addition of the sow processing plant would complement the existing plant.
Researchers will take six to eight weeks to complete the feasibility study. They will consider the financial feasibility as well as potential support from the public, producers and government, the release stated.
Early feedback shows producers support the possibility of a processing plant, said Ferguson.
“Producers think it's a great idea and long overdue in Western Canada. The idea of putting all your sows on a truck to go to Iowa, Minnesota or elsewhere in the U.S. for slaughter has always been a little odd to me. … Everybody is pretty excited about the possibility of a local market for these animals,” Ferguson told Farms.com.
Along with a market for producers, this plant would also bring jobs to Moose Jaw, he said.
“Having those jobs in Saskatchewan is really critical. ... I think (the plant could) be a key economic driver for the city of Moose Jaw and for the province of Saskatchewan,” he said.
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