Canada. Prairie Malt cuts output and staff by more than half

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Prairie Malt, a major producer of malt in Canada and a joint venture of Cargill and Viterra, on Thursday announced to lay off 35 out of 70 workers and to cut output due to the end of a supply deal with a major customer. Doug Eden, president of the company said: “To ensure the competitiveness of Prairie Malt Ltd., we are aligning production at the plant with current demand.” And further: “We are very sorry to lay off employees and are grateful for the high-quality work they have performed at the facility.”

The plant with a current yearly capacity of 220,000 tonnes was built in 1977 by the provincial government of Saskatchewan and was sold in 1989 to a joint venture of Schreier Malting Co. and Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. In 1998 Cargill Malt took over the shares of Schreier and in 2007 Viterra became owner of the rest of the company through the merger of Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and Agricore United.