Maple Leaf Foods is buying four Saskatchewan pig farms in order to increase production at one of their plants.
The company will buy the farms from a group of companies called Polar Pork Farms. The sale comes as an effort to increase the total production of one of their processing plants in Brandon, Manitoba, which currently isn't operating at its full capacity. The sale has the potential to supply Maple Leaf Foods with 140,000 pigs.
"This is to help kickstart our growth push for our processing plant, we've got a lot of demand from domestic and international customers and we obviously have to fill that demand," said Michael Detlefsen, the president of the Maple Leaf Foods Pork Complex.
The pigs from Polar Pork will be shipped to Manitoba to be processed and then turned into prime cuts of meat.
Detlefsen said the sale is a significant investment into Saskatchewan, and that it's also an opportunity to work closely with the Possberg family, which runs Polar Pork Farms. Maple Leaf Foods is buying four of their 11 farms.
Of those farms purchased, two produce baby pigs and two are nurseries where the pigs are raised to a higher weight.
"This is a good move. It keeps more value added in Western Canada and it should be good for both companies," said Daryl Possberg, the general manager of Polar Pork.
He said the pigs from the farms were originally sold to America, so this sale would be good for Western Canada, and would also be good for the employees who run the farms.
According to 2019 figures from Saskatchewan Pork, 2.31 million pigs were produced in Saskatchewan farms. Saskatchewan also produced nine per cent of the pigs in Canada, making it the fifth largest producer of pigs in the country.
The sale is expected to close in June 2022.