While the official opening of the nursery was on August 1, the farm started operations in February after receiving its first gilts. The first piglets, meanwhile, were delivered to producers in southern Quebec on June 29.
The Fugèreville farm is the first of five group nurseries to be built in the Témiscamingue region of Quebec as part of the Fermes Boréales project, an initiative of La Coop fédérée and its subsidiary, Olymel L.P.
The pig collective production model consists of bringing together pregnant sows from a group of producers in order to ensure a healthy supply of piglets, according to the Fermes Boréales website.
Producers working with Fermes Boréales project include Comax, Covilac and Unicoop cooperatives and Les Élevages Soden inc. pig farm. By buying shares in the Fugèreville farm, these investors now own a group of sows that will supply them with healthy piglets.
"I am convinced that the group nursery concept will become a development model favored by pig producers here in the medium term," said Ghislain Gervais, president of La Coop fédérée, in a press release.
Fermes boréales project
The group hog nursery project entails the construction of five nursery buildings that will each have 2,360 sows in loose housing. The project was made possible through a 50 million Canadian dollar (US$38 million) investment.
"This project in the Témiscamingue region, valued at more than 50 million dollars, represents an important factor in the stability and quality of Olymel's supply in the coming years,” said RéjeanNadeau, president and CEO of Olymel in a press release.
The Fermes boréales operations also will create fifty direct jobs. The construction of the Fugèreville nursery has created 10 permanent jobs.
Gervais and Nadeau spoke at the opening of the nursery and toured the facility along with approximately 200 attendees. The building’s design allows visitors to see the sows in the nursery without compromising biosecurity.