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'Absolutely Vital' That Brandon Maple Leaf Plant Stays Open, Says Manitoba Pork GM

The general manager for Manitoba Pork says it's vital that the Maple Leaf Foods plant in Brandon continues to operate, despite the growing concern over COVID-19.
 
"The big thing is the community needs to work at this thing to protect the workforce that goes to places like the Brandon plant but to other businesses in town as well, because we need to keep people employed," stated Andrew Dickson. "It's going to become more important when the school season starts up."
 
He says if the Brandon plant was closed, there would be a major challenge for Manitoba pork producers.
 
"That has a huge impact for us. We're pushing hard to keep the plant running. Our problem would be after three or four days, if that plant was closed, we would have a major challenge in terms of where to put 14,000 or 15,000 pigs a day. There's only limited processing capacity here on the Prairies and we can't be shipping down to the United States, they have no capacity to handle them. We need that plant to keep running. It's absolutely vital to producers on the farm that the Brandon plant is in full operational mode."
 
With an increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at the facility, the union representing employees has been pushing for the plant to be shut down.
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