Meat Industry INSIGHTS Newsletter

970934 Carvell Trading To Buy Canada Beef Packing Plant

September 24, 1997

WINNIPEG - Israeli consortium Carvell Trading Ltd will buy a beef packing plant in Brandon, Manitoba, from Maple Leaf Foods Inc (MFI.TO) in order to export kosher beef to Europe, Israel and Russia, officials said.

"We have an agreement to buy the Brandon plant. The deal closes October 17 and it should open in a year to a year and a half," consortium lawyer Lyle Smordin said.

Burns Meats Ltd closed the beef packing plant in 1990. The facility was since sold to Maple Leaf Foods, Canada's largest food processor, but was not reopened.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

Privately held Tel Aviv-based Carvell Trading plans to spend C$20 million refurbishing the facility, Smordin said.

"They get their beef in Israel from out of the country and it's much more expensive to produce out of the country, or at least in Europe, than it would be here," Smordin said.

Canada produced 14.89 million head of cattle in 1996, Statistics Canada figures show.

"The cattle's cheaper, the fields are plentiful, the plant was useable and workable, they had some incentive from the Brandon Economic Development Board (BEDB)," Smordin said.

The BEDB offered Carvell a C$169,000 forgivable mortgage.

The plant should slaughter 600 head of cattle a day on one shift a day, said Don Allan, BEDB's general manager. "They're securing market contracts right now. I'm pretty sure they'll be producing boxed beef," Allan said.

The plant should process 150,000 head of cattle a year, he added.

"The higher end stuff (boxed beef) will be by air freight and the carcasses will be shipped out of Vancouver," Allan said.

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