"It's a sad day for our province's livestock producers, it's a sad day for the workers and community of Moose Jaw, and it's a sad day for the Province of Saskatchewan," said Greg Marshall, APAS President following a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) where the August 13, 2010 notice by XL Beef to permanently close its' Moose Jaw slaughter plant was discussed.
"With this announcement, Saskatchewan beef producers will face permanent and substantial increased transportation costs - making them less competitive, profitable or even viable in some cases. We had really hoped for a more positive resolution to this issue given the events earlier this spring," continued Marshall.
XL Foods Inc. announced last Friday that it had served notice to employees that the Moose Jaw plant will be shut down permanently within 90 days. Brian Nilsson, CEO of XL, said the closure is for business and economic reasons, citing the Alberta-based company's failure to reach a new contract with the United Food and Commercial Workers union. About 140 employees have been picketing the plant since they were locked out in September 2009. APAS had issued a press release in April (when the plant owners brought in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to preserve their accreditation) encouraging both sides of the ongoing labour dispute to reach an agreement that would benefit the province's beef producers, the community and the province.
APAS continues to support the development of a federally inspected plant for Saskatchewan producers to enable them to remain competitive and to further develop the provincial beef sector. APAS will continue to work with all levels of government and industry stakeholders to assist in the development and growth of the provincial beef industry.
For more information, please call:
Greg Marshall, APAS President at 306-789-7774 ext 151 (office) or ext 211 (cell) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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