Canada's lamb market sees major production merger

Alberta-based Canada Gold Beef Ltd, owners of SunGold Specialty Meats Ltd., and the Canada Gold Lamb Lot have announced the merger of their lamb operations with that of Fresh Canada Meats Ltd, the majority shareholder of Manitoba-based Canada Sheep and Lamb Farms Ltd.

Fresh Canada Meats is a wholly owned Canadian subsidiary of Integrated Foods Ltd, an integrated lamb producer and processor in New Zealand.

The newly merged entity will be named the North American Lamb Company Ltd (NALC) and will control lamb production and marketing for the group encompassing from genetics and breeding, to finishing, processing, and sales.

The merger is designed to create a fully integrated lamb supply chain to for domestic and international markets with year-round consistent supply and specification, according to the new company.

Canada’s sheep producers supply less than half of what’s demanded domestically — consistent, year-round supply has been named as an issue holding back production. North American Lamb Company says its structure will provide the scale, consistency, and volume required to supply retail and food service customers with branded product lines.

The supply chain will consist of:

  • New Zealand-backed Canada Sheep and Lamb Farms lambs year-round from a breeding flock currently exceeding 35,000 ewes and ewe lambs and soon growing to some 50,000 plus head, according to a press release. This will provide lambs for finishing to market specification at the Canada Gold Lamb Lot.
  • The Canada Gold Lamb Lot is a lamb feeding operation in Southern Alberta cattle feeding country with a licensed one-time capacity of 50,000 lambs. This lamb feeding facility has scope to finish about 200,000 market lambs per year.
  • SunGold is Canada’s largest federal lamb processing plant

While the business plan is a fully-integrated model, NALC says it is open to working with other producers who are capable of “disciplined business relationships.”

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