North 49 Foods Unveils State-of-the-Art Sow Processing Plant in Moose Jaw, a Game-Changer for Canadian Pork Industry

North 49 Foods Ltd., a division of the company operating Thunder Creek Pork, has celebrated the official opening of its new federally inspected sow harvest and processing facility near Moose Jaw. This facility, repurposed from the mothballed JBS/XL Foods Beef Plant, marks the first new pork processing facility in Canada in over a decade, signifying a significant advancement for Western Canada’s pork industry.

The grand opening event, attended by key figures including Premier Scott Moe, highlighted the plant’s strategic importance. Allan Leung, CEO of Donald’s Fine Foods Group, emphasized the project’s substantial investment of over $60 million, making it the largest in the company’s history. Leung underscored the plant’s role in promoting biosecurity, animal welfare, and improved financial returns for producers and packers in the Canadian pork industry.

The facility’s location was chosen for its proximity to Western Canadian hog producers, aiming to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint, enhance animal welfare, improve pricing for producers, and bolster biosecurity by eliminating the need to ship sows to the U.S.A.

Expected to receive its first shipment of sows by November 2, the plant will initially employ around 80 workers, eventually reaching 200 employees at full capacity. The project received a $5 million interest-free loan from PrairiesCanada, with additional contributions from the provincial government and Sask Pork to support infrastructure for handling infectious disease outbreaks.

Premier Moe commended Donald’s Fine Foods’ investment in Moose Jaw, acknowledging the significant economic benefits it brings. Mayor Clive Tolley expressed gratitude for the revitalization of the beef plant, praising the Leung family for their contributions.

The state-of-the-art plant boasts a maximum capacity of approximately 225,000 sows per year, addressing concerns related to cross-border livestock controls, infectious diseases, transportation costs, and animal welfare. Equipped with computer controls and innovative processes, the plant aims to ensure the well-being of animals, maintain food safety standards, and efficiently package and ship the final products.