MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.— Minneapolis-based organic grain distributor Pipeline Foods LLC announced Sept. 20 the acquisition of two Saskatchewan grain elevators in Wapella and Gull Lake.
Wapella, a 3,500 metric tonne (MT) facility, and Gull Lake, a 4,000 MT facility, will each serve as a primary collection point for Canadian organic grain origination in their regions.
Pipeline will store, screen and blend grains including barley, corn, rye, flax, lentils, oats, peas, soybeans and wheat, and then ship via truck or rail.
“These investments help Pipeline Foods move quickly toward our vision of building a more sustainable organic supply chain in agriculture,” said Eric Jackson, CEO of Pipeline Foods. “The Wapella and Gull Lake grain elevators place us right in the heart of Canadian organic grain production, provide a new channel for farmers to do business, and allow us to connect this grain supply with food companies and manufacturers across the U.S.”
Both facilities are forecasted to move an estimated 25,000 MT of grain in 2018, with increasing capacity expected after initial capital investments are made this year.
Wapella and Gull Lake are located along the Trans-Canada Highway and the Canadian Pacific Railway, and Pipeline’s purchase of the Wapella facility includes installation of a main line rail switch, reconnecting the facility to the Canadian Pacific Railway after being out of service for over 15 years.
“We are very excited to have Pipeline Foods take over the elevator in Wapella, and about the return of trains rolling through town to pick up grain cars,” said Sandy Hintz, mayor of Wapella. “The addition of staff at the elevator will create more support for our local businesses, and Pipeline Foods’ big investment in elevator infrastructure will create additional tax revenue for our town.”
Pipeline says organic grain production has grown steadily in southern Saskatchewan, largely in response to consumer demand for organic grains, and supported by the diverse crop rotation in the region.
“I recently had an opportunity to tour the Pipeline Foods facility and was impressed with the current operations and planned upgrades,” said Gull Lake Mayor Blake Campbell. “Our local businesses keep our community strong, and we are very pleased to welcome Pipeline Foods to Gull Lake.”