Donald’s Fine Foods, based in Richmond, B.C., is looking at developing the defunct XL foods beef plant in Moose Jaw into a sow processing facility.
The company is conducting a feasibility study and gauging overall support from producers, the public, and government for creating a “technologically advanced sow processing facility serving Western Canadian hog producers,” according to a release.
Over 80 per cent of cull sows are exported to the U.S. for processing, notes the company. Western Canadian pork producers could benefit from the plant because it would reduce transport costs, and producers could deliver directly to the plant. Increased biosecurity would also be an advantage, and the new plant would alleviate some of the risk of border closures.
“We want to create more opportunities for pork producers and support the forecasted need for domestic sow processing capacity,” states Allan Leung, CEO of Donald’s Fine Foods.
Donald’s Fine Foods operates four plants across Canada and employs 800 people. The Thunder Creek Pork processing plant, also owned by Donald’s Fine Foods in Moose Jaw, Sask, employs 250 people. The new sow processing facility is intended to complement the existing market hog facility and is anticipated to employ 100 people.