Federated Cooperatives Ltd. announced today that it intends to close FCL feed mills in Melfort, Sask., and Brandon.
The decision was made after FCL conducted a full review of its livestock feed business.
The Melfort plant will close in August of 2019. The Brandon plant will cease operations in October, FCL said in a May 13 news release.
Ownership of another FCL feed operation in Edmonton will be transferred to the Wetaskiwin Co-op in September.
After the closures and transfers are completed, FCL’s prairie network of livestock feed production facilities will be reduced to three, down from six currently.
FCL will continue to operate feed mills in Saskatoon, Calgary and Moosomin, Sask. and will make “significant capital investments” in its remaining plants.
The company cited “unprecedented competitor consolidation and a changing market in the feed sector” as reasons for the moves.
“After contributing to the western Canadian feed business for decades, FCL is making these changes to help ensure that it can continue providing Co-op feed products and services in the long-term,” the company said.
“While we don’t make these decisions lightly, by consolidating manufacturing and taking measures to refocus our resources in the livestock sector, we’re better able to serve our local co-ops and their producer customers across Western Canada well into the future,” added Ron Healey, FCL’s vice-president of ag and consumer business.
Products and services currently available at the Melfort and Brandon facilities will continue to be offered at FCL’s three remaining feed plant locations.
The company did not say how many jobs would be affected by the closures. FCL officials were not immediately available for comment.
The affected plants “have been in their communities for many years and I want to thank all of the team members who have contributed so much for so many years,” said Shelley Revering, FCL’s director of feed.
“The concentration of our feed manufacturing operations results from industry challenges and in no way reflects the substantial efforts of our plant teams.”
FCL feed plants manufacture livestock feed for cattle, horses, sheep and poultry.
Feed is distributed in bags and through bulk orders.
Among the capital investments in FCL’s remaining plants is a planned investment in new bagging equipment that will better accommodate the distribution of bagged livestock feeds through retail co-ops.
Melfort is located approximately 200 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.