Floods in Calgary drown Canada’s beef supplies

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Update: The High River Cargill plant operated last weekend and has a sufficient supply of portable water. Cargill spokeswoman Brigitte Burgoyne says full production at the plant will continue throughout the week.

In addition to operations at the plant, the company is assisting its employees affected by the flood. In an email, Burgoyne said the safety and security of company employees has alwyas been its top priority and the company is making sure employees are taken care of and can deal with their personal situations.

 

Floods in Alberta, Canada interrupted beef processing operations at the High River Cargill plant earlier this month, affecting grocer beef supplies in Western Canada.

The processing facility attempted to reopen a few times since the floodwaters arose, but a lack of fresh water from the town’s treatment plant temporarily shut down operations. The Cargill plant is now up and running again.

The Calgary Herald reports beef inventories remain stable. The reduced supply led grocers to seek out beef supplies from alternative sources.

Businessweek reports Canada’s biggest grocer, Loblaw Cos., has purchased beef cuts from smaller processing facilities to minimize the impact and the temporary closing of the Cargill plant did not impacted the supply of beef cuts available to consumers.

The High River plant employs around 2,000 and processes nearly 40 percent of all beef in Western Canada. The facility processes about 4,500 head of cattle each day.

To soften the impact of closing the plant, Cargill spokeswoman Chantelle Donahue told Businessweek the company enhanced production at its plant in Guelph, Ontario.

The delay in operations forced feedlots to pay additional feed costs while they waited for the plant to reopen.

The province’s farmers ‘dodged a bullet’ according to Agriculture Minister Verlyn Olson. The Calgary Herald reports the floods damaged lowland areas and there was some livestock damage, but not catastrophic amounts.



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