The Maple Leaf Foods hog plant at Brandon, Man., has temporarily suspended pork exports to China on a voluntary basis. China has recently instituted new rules where any plant reporting COVID-19 cases is required to suspend exports. The Brandon plant has seen over 50 cases of COVID-19 among employees in the last few weeks, accounting… Read More

The National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council has updated the Canadian Livestock Transport (CLT) program to reflect the latest changes to federal livestock transport regulations. The CLT program is a comprehensive training course and support service for livestock truckers, shippers, and receivers. The program offers certification that is recognized throughout Canada and United States…. Read More

As pork producers continue to struggle with slumping prices, Alberta Pork and the Canadian Pork Council have launched an online calculator aimed at increasing transparency in how pigs in Western Canada are priced. The calculator uses pricing formula data compiled in-house by Alberta Pork, based on U.S. Department of Agriculture mandatory reporting, which is also… Read More

The four western Canadian provincial hog producer groups are asking three major pork processors for a larger cut of the value of each hog. The boards of directors for the B.C. Pork Producers Association, Alberta Pork, Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council have sent a letter to Maple Leaf Foods, Olymel, and Donald’s Fine Foods… Read More

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,”… Read More

Manitoba-based pork producer and processor HyLife is expanding its processing capacity with the acquisition of a slaughter plant in the U.S. The company says it is partnering with Glen Taylor, and purchasing a 75 per cent equity stake in Prime Pork LLC from the Taylor Corporation. Prime Pork operates a recently-renovated processing plant at Windom,… Read More

The last two months have been a roller coaster of shifting food demand, tanking farm-level prices, and closed processing plants as a result of COVID-19. As ranchers, feedlot operators, processors, and food retailers navigate the pandemic, tensions are high as some points in the value chain receive top prices while ranchers are hurting. Jayson Lusk,… Read More

Progress throughout history has never been linear and, often, a jarring event is needed to force us into facing uncomfortable truths about our own failures. That is not an indictment, but more an acceptance of the reality that progress requires understanding where we’ve fallen flat and then seeking to improve. There was much gnashing of… Read More

Manitoba-based pork producer and processor HyLife has announced the purchase of one of Canada’s largest independent hog farming operations. The company has acquired the majority of ProVista Agriculture’s hog production facilities and transportation equipment. The deal includes 37,000 sows and production facilities that employ 252 people in Manitoba and southeast Saskatchewan. It will boost HyLife’s… Read More

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become abundantly clear to many that Canada’s livestock processing industry is incredibly concentrated to a handful of federal plants. Now, as these plants face partial or short-term closures, many farmers and consumers alike are lamenting the lack of small, local abattoirs. The trouble is, it’s not easy… Read More

U.S. President Donald Trump has unveiled his three-step plan to re-open the economy, entitled “Opening up America Again.” Along with the announcement, the president has started encouraging political allies to “liberate” certain states that have shelter-in-place (social distancing) measures currently in effect. There’s no question, the economic impact of social distancing is very evident in… Read More

The decision to close a processing plant as it relates to COVID-19 infection of staff is a complicated one. Food processing plants have strict protocols and clear guidance on food safety issues, but the advent of a human disease pandemic is a new territory for all — processors included. Ultimately, the decision to close a… Read More

Olymel says it will be resuming operations at its hog slaughter and cutting plant at Yamachiche, Quebec on Tuesday, April 14 after closing for more than two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The plant, which normally processes 28 thousand pigs per week, has been closed since March 29, after nine employees tested positive… Read More