Saturday, May 3, 2014

Quality Packer may stay closed

The Quality Meat Packers Ltd. plant in downtown Toronto may stay closed.

The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that owner David Schwartz, when he appears in bankruptcy court this week, will ask for the business to be put into regular bankruptcy.

It is currently in protection from its creditors with 30 days to come up with a plan for survival.

The plant is surrounded by residential development, including a high-rise condominium within a block of the plant that is the second-largest hog-slaughtering facility in Ontario.

Two businesses – Quality Meat Packers Ltd. and Toronto Abattoirs Ltd. owe creditors about $70 million.

Much of that is owed to about 70 hog farmers, chief among them Synergy Swine Ltd. and the marketing-company subsidiary of the Ontario Pork marketing board.

One of the creditors is another Schwatz-family company, Quality Meat Packers Holding Ltd., which is owed $19 million.

Schwartz continues to operate Great Lakes Speciality Meats at Mitchell, but most farmers are demanding cash on delivery.

The downtown Toronto plant has not been slaughtering since the receivership began because farmers won’t deliver hogs. It employs about 750 people.

Two years ago the federal agriculture department gave the company $3 million to upgrade the Toronto plant's equipment.