Sofina buys Canada’s oldest pork operation
Fearmans Pork, a brand launched in 1852 in Ontario, is now part of the Sofina Foods familiy
Markham, Ont. – Sofina Foods Inc., a manufacturer of primary and further processed protein products, is expanding its operations with a new acquisition.
The company announced yesterday that it has bought a pork-processing plant and brand that once belonged to Maple Leaf Foods from Sun Capital Partners Inc. of Florida – their current owner. No details of the transaction were disclosed.
Originally the plant belonged to the Fearman family, who launched Fearmans sugar-cured hams and smoked meats in Hamilton, Ont. in 1852. The nearby plant in Burlington, reports the ManitobaCooperator.ca, is considered Canada’s oldest continuously operating pork plant. It opened in 1962, expanded in 1975 and in 1980 nearly tripled its size to its current 365,000 sq.-ft.
Sun Capital bought the facility and Fearmans trademark from Maple Leaf in late 2010 when Maple Leaf began reorganizing its meat business.
With Sun Capital, the Fearmans brand relaunched. Sun Capital billed the company as one that sourced its hogs through “a network of over 700 small Ontario farms,” reports ManitobaCooperator.ca.
Marc Leder, co-CEO at Sun Capital Partners, says the Fearmans brand has made great strides. “Management has effectively created an infrastructure and stabilized hog procurement, which assures the region’s hog farmers that they have a committed and capable partner,” he says. “Sofina Foods is a natural steward for the next stage of its growth.”
For Sofina, the acquisition means its combined operations now number 13 with primary and further processing plants in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Washington State.
Fearmans Pork is the largest pork processing facility in Ontario and supplies product to other processors, retailers and foodservice providers. Its products include chilled pork products, and specialty and counter-ready products.