Federated Co-ops Limited's Melfort feed plant to close in August

MELFORT — Federated Co-ops Limited will be closing its feed plant in Melfort, resulting in the loss of 10 jobs.

Operations will cease Aug. 15.

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Patrick Bergermann, an associate vice-president with Federated Co-ops, said the feed sector has seen a lot of consolidation over the last several years and that they aren’t immune  to those market changes.

“The facilities that we have, the six feed plants that we have in operation are aged facilities and they require some capital investment to modernize them,” he said. “To be able to do that in all six facilities just wasn't feasible for us, given the market dynamics that have happened over the past decade or two.”

The six plants are in Melfort, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Moosomin and Brandon. Federated Co-ops is closing the plants in Melfort and Brandon, and transferring operations of the Edmonton plant to the Wetaskiwin Co-op.

“We looked at north central Saskatchewan and we saw the merits of the Saskatoon facility in its location versus Melfort,” Bergermann said. “The plant in Melfort was our oldest plant and so the amount of investment required there would have been substantial.”

The associate vice-president said the closure wasn’t a reflection of the work of the 10 staff members.

“We've got an excellent group of people at the Melfort facility and so our human resources team is going to be and is already working very hard to try and find them other opportunities within the co-operative retailing system.”

Bergermann said they announced the closure May 13 to give producers that buy from them to develop alternate plans.

“The summertime tends to be a little bit lower usage of the feed plants so that was a time that we could enable and foster some of those conversations to transition business with those producer customers, be it to our own facility in Saskatoon or otherwise.”

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