Manitoba beef processing plant construction begins

A multimillion-dollar expansion to Plains Processors’ beef plant in Carman, Man., once targeted for completion in 2012, is finally under construction. 


The project, a 36,000 sq. foot addition to the company’s existing facility, will increase the plant’s slaughter capacity to 1,000 cattle per week from 60 to 100 animals, said company president Calvin Vaags. 


The $10 million expansion will upgrade the facility to a federally licensed beef plant, allowing it to move products throughout Canada and into international markets.


“We had lots of targets, but your best laid plans don’t always go the way you think,” said Vaags, who blamed environmental permits and financing for the delay. 


“We had hoped to be under construction a year and a half earlier, really.”


He said the facility will employ about 80 people when operating at full capacity, creating at least 70 jobs.


“The economies of moving things around North America aren’t as good as they used to be, so it makes more sense to process stuff closer to where it’s actually produced,” said Vaags.