Maple Leaf to buy four Saskatchewan hog barns

Pork processor plans future upgrades

(Dave Bedard photo)

Two sow barns and two nursery hog barns in central Saskatchewan are set to become the property of meat processor Maple Leaf Foods.

Toronto-based Maple Leaf announced Wednesday it plans to buy the four barns from Polar Pork, a group of farms spearheaded by members of the Possberg family — well known as the founding family behind major Saskatchewan hog producer Big Sky Farms, which was sold to Olymel in 2013.

The exact terms of the deal and locations of the barns weren’t released, but Maple Leaf said it expects to invest up to $27 million in the barns over time.

That amount will include the acquisition costs as well as capital costs to “maximize capacity and add further animal care enrichments.”

Maple Leaf said its deal for the four barns, which it expects to close in June next year, will “enhance (its) overall pig supply and substantially increase its pig production capacity in the province.”

The deal, Maple Leaf said, has the potential to supply about 140,000 pigs to the company — a level it said is “directly” tied to plans to further boost production at its flagship pork slaughter and processing plant at Brandon, Man.

Michael Detlefsen, president of Maple Leaf Foods’ pork complex, said the acquisition “offers us ready access to some of the healthiest hogs in Saskatchewan that will allow us to enhance our deliveries of high-quality pork to customers in Canada and Asia.”

The company, Detlefsen added, is “very impressed with the skill the Possberg family and the team at Polar Pork have brought to the operation of these barns.” — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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Editor, Daily News

Dave Bedard

Editor, Daily News, Glacier FarmMedia Network. A Saskatchewan transplant in Winnipeg.

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