GFM Network News


(Dave Bedard photo)

Maple Leaf to buy four Saskatchewan hog barns

Pork processor plans future upgrades

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 […] Read more

File photo of hogs in transit near Red Deer, Alta. (Stefonlinton/iStock/Getty Images)

Olymel shipping backlogged hogs to U.S.

Company-owned hogs to go south after COVID closes Red Deer plant

Winnipeg | Reuters — Olymel said Friday it was shipping pigs to the United States to help clear a backlog of hogs after it had to temporarily close its Red Deer, Alta. slaughter plant because of a coronavirus outbreak. Olymel shut the plant on Wednesday and declared force majeure — unforeseeable circumstances that prevent contract […] Read more


(File photo by Dave Bedard)

Brandon pork plant’s exports to China suspended

Chinese protocols call for temporary pause, Maple Leaf says

New Chinese rules for exporters and a number of COVID-19 cases among its workers have led Maple Leaf Foods to temporarily halt pork traffic to China from its biggest hog plant. The company said Tuesday it has “temporarily suspended pork exports to China on a voluntary basis due to recent protocols adopted by the Chinese […] Read more

(File photo by Dave Bedard)

Union seeks temporary halt for major Manitoba hog plant

Four Maple Leaf plant staff now COVID-positive

The union for about 2,000 workers at Maple Leaf Foods’ main Canadian hog slaughter and packing plant is calling for the company to put the brakes on production, pending further tests for COVID-19 among employees. United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 832 said Thursday it was “made aware” late Wednesday night of three more […] Read more


KFC Canada says it will launch its ‘Plant-Based KFC’ sandwich nationwide Aug. 10. (CNW Group/KFC Canada)

Plant-based near-chicken on KFC’s Canadian menu to stay

Maple Leaf's Lightlife arm to make 'Plant-Based KFC' sandwich

Updated, Aug. 18: Consumers’ response to a single-day test of plant-based near-chicken menu items in Mississauga last year has led KFC Canada to add the product, full time, to its menu nationwide. The Canadian arm of the Yum Brands-owned chicken chain announced Wednesday its ‘Plant-Based KFC’ sandwiches will be available permanently at its stores across […] Read more

(Maple Leaf Foods photo via Facebook)

Quebec packer buying Maple Leaf chicken plant

Avicomax's supply agreements with farmers remain

A family-owned Quebec poultry packer specializing in antibiotic-free and organic chicken is set to buy a Maple Leaf Foods facility in the same line of work. Volaille Giannone, which operates a poultry slaughter and packing plant at St-Cuthbert, about 65 km southwest of Trois-Rivieres, announced Thursday it has a deal in place to buy Maple […] Read more


Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council chair and Exceldor vice-president Joel Cormier addresses the Commons standing committee on agriculture on May 29. (Video screengrab from Parl.gc.ca)

COVID concerns weigh on chicken farmers, processors

Sales crashed on lack of foodservice business

Ottawa — Chicken Farmers of Canada say they’ve faced a “sharp decline” in sales as a result of a significant drop in food services, which represents roughly 40 per cent of their market. CFC chair Benoît Fontaine warned federal MPs as much during a virtual meeting of the Commons standing committee on agriculture and agri-food […] Read more

Workers in the JBS beef plant at Brooks, Alta. appear in a screen shot from a 2018 corporate video. (JBS Canada video screengrab via YouTube)

As meat plant infections rise, Canada lets packers choose when to close

Beef plants at heart of Alberta's largest COVID-19 community outbreaks

Winnipeg | Reuters — In Cargill’s High River, Alta. plant, supplier of more than one-third of Canada’s beef, 391 workers were sick with COVID-19 when the company suspended operations, according to provincial health officials. But Maple Leaf Foods decided to idle a poultry plant for eight days, in Brampton, Ont., after just three workers were […] Read more


(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

As meat demand rises, processors raise pay for farmers, workers

Chicago | Reuters –– North American meat processors said on Monday they would pay extra money to farmers and slaughterhouse workers as the companies scramble to meet surging demand from consumers unnerved by the spread of the new coronavirus. Companies such as Tyson Foods and Cargill want to ensure their slaughterhouses remain supplied with cattle […] Read more

KFC is testing a “chicken” sandwich and popcorn “chicken” made with a plant-based meat substitute at one of its Toronto-area stores. (CNW Group/KFC Canada)

KFC tests plant-based ‘fried chicken’ in Ontario

Fast-food chicken chain KFC is collecting feedback from a one-day, one-store test of a new Canadian-made plant-based “fried chicken” product for the Canadian market. The Canadian arm of the Yum Brands-owned chain set up a “limited” test run for what it calls KFC Plant-Based Fried Chicken at its 6055 Creditview Rd. store in Mississauga, Ont. […] Read more