Maple Leaf Foods to purchase four Sask. pig farms

Maple Leaf Foods has purchased four central Saskatchewan pig farms to help expand their operations in the province.

The purchase includes two sow barns and two nursery barns, previously owned by Polar Pork. which has the potential to supply 140,000 pigs.

Pork Complex President Michael Detlefsen says the move will help them meet consumer demand and grow production at their plant in Brandon, MB.

He adds he’s excited to expand in Saskatchewan.

“Saskatchewan is a great place to do business, I’ve done business there before in other lives, and I’ve always been impressed by the can-do attitude of the province and of the government,” said Detlefsen. “And how supportive, generally, people and the government are to agricultural operations in particular.”

Detlefsen says quality of product is a priority for Maple Leaf, which made it an easy decision to buy some of Polar Pork’s farms.

“The Possberg family, who are behind Polar Pork, have some of the best herd health, productivity, and quality statistics in western Canada,” said Detlefsen. “We wanted to partner with somebody who reflected those characteristics.”

Detlefsen says the move is not only beneficial for Maple Leaf in Saskatchewan, it’s good for the pork industry in Canada.

“The signal to the industry is that we’re growing again, and I think that’s a positive for the pork industry in western Canada, whether you’re in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or Alberta,” said Detlefsen. “This is an opportunity for us to maximize the capacity of our operation at Brandon, and I think create additional opportunities for farmers in the west.”

According to Maple Leaf, they will be investing up to $27 million into the new barns, which includes acquisition costs and capital investments.

The deal is expected to close early next year.

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