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Canada: Dormant goose processing plant salvaged

Feather Industries, a family-owned Toronto firm that processes goose and duck down and feathers, has purchased Northern Goose Processors plant in Teulon for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase of the Interlake plant will not only revive the plant but also the goose industry in the area.

According to a spokesman for a local Hutterite colony, about eight Hutterite colonies were raising geese on a commercial basis before Northern Goose stopped its processing operations. Since then, the number has dwindled to two. "But they all could restart overnight," he said.

Northern Goose Processors has not processed geese for more than 3½ years although it has continued to sporadically process feathers and down purchased from outside suppliers

According to Feather Industries president and CEO, Bryan Pryde, the company plans to spend between $1.5to $2 million over the next three years upgrading and expanding the facility.

The initial plans are to resume processing next September to November - probably 80,000 to 100,000 in the first year, when the 2013 flocks of domestically grown geese will be ready for market.  Once the goose-processing season is over, the plant will resume processing of feather and down.

However, he hopes in 2014, the Teulon plant will also begin processing a type of Chinese goose being produced in Ontario that matures earlier in the year. That would enable the Teulon plant to process geese for six or eight months of the year, instead of three.

"And one day, I'd like to see the plant operating 12 months of the year," he said.

Background
An eight-year legal battle with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency severely disrupted the Northern Goose Processors’ export business. And while it eventually won the case, by then the operation was struggling.

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