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News 835 views update:Oct 20, 2011

New poultry processing plant in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is about to get a new poultry processing plant in the Kentville area that will be partly owned by farmers.

Poultry farmers will pay for half of the brand new $46 mln plant, while Ontario-based Maple Lodge Farms will own the other half. The farmers will provide the chickens and turkeys for processing, and Maple Lodge Farms will take care of the marketing.

Ian Blenkharn, a spokesman for the committee that represents poultry producers, said a majority of farmers in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island not only want to have their poultry cut and packed at the new plant, they also want to be owners.

"They will each put in the required equity and then there'll be traditional financing like any other business," he said, adding that there's still time for farmers to buy in, if they haven't already done so.

"It's going to take probably another four to six months to finalize the plans and be in a position to start construction," he said.

For now, farmers are either shipping their chicken to New Brunswick or processing it at the ACA Co-operative Ltd. facility in New Minas. When the air-chilled plant opens in the spring of 2012, the ACA plant will close, reports state.
Blenkarn said they will try to sell as much chicken as they can in Atlantic Canada, but it's likely a lot of Nova Scotia and P.E.I. chicken will end up on dinner plates in Ontario.

There are 82 chicken farms in Nova Scotia which produce 43 mln kg of chicken each year. There are 7 poultry farmers in P.E.I.

Source: CBC News

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