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In Briefs continued – for Jan. 14, 2010

Carman truck repair shop destroyed

Carman RCMP and the provincial fire commissioner’s office are investigating a Jan. 7 fire that destroyed theTR-S Truck Shop on Second Street Northeast in Carman. The fire, which burned up the business and 10 vehicles in or near the shop for total damages of $3 million to $5 million, is considered “not suspicious in nature,” RCMP said. A local resident saw the shop “engulfed in flames” before 3:30 a. m. last Thursday and called 911.

Agrium buys Prairie farm retailers

Calgary’s Agrium has expanded its stake in retail farm fertilizer sales by buying up the fertilizer assets it didn’t already own from five Engro franchises and another joint venture, for a total of six sites in southern Saskatchewan and 27 in southern and central Alberta. The outlets, with combined annual revenues of about $162 million, will be rebranded under the Crop Production Services (Canada) Inc. name, Agrium said Monday. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Veal goes vertical

Delimax Veaux Lourds, a Quebec producer of milk-fed and grain-fed veal calves for markets across northeastern North America, has joined a four-way merger into “one of the largest vertically integrated veal organizations in the U. S.” Its merger partners in the still-unnamed holding company include two veal and lamb processors, New Jersey-based Catelli Brothers and California-based Specialty Meats. Delimax owns the fourth partner, NRV, a milk replacer maker in Wisconsin. The new company plans to supply retail and food service firms throughout the U. S.

B. C. warns against “raw dairy” foods

British Columbia’s Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) stepped in last week to warn the public to throw out unpasteurized products from a “raw dairy” at Chilliwack. On behalf of Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health, the centre tested unpasteurized raw milk, yogurt, cream, butter and cream cheese from Home on the Range, which distributes to some outlets in B. C.’s Lower Mainland. “Of these samples, five tested positive for fecal contamination,” the centre said, meaning the products “were contaminated with germs from the bowels of animals or humans.”

AgriFlex Fund backs canola strategy

The federal Agricultural Flexibility Fund on Monday pledged up to $7.8 million toward a “comprehensive market strategy for Canada’s canola sector,” to be overseen by the Canola Council of Canada. The council will put up another $1.2 million to develop the strategy, meant to “open new markets as well as examine current legislative, regulatory and administrative trade barriers,” to lay out a joint industry/government approach for when market access challenges arise, and to highlight industry best practices to help farmers meet importing countries’ standards.

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