Food Processing and Manufacturing
Arnold Drung, President,
Conestoga Meat Packers,
Efficiency rules at Conestoga Meat Packers
With more than 20 years in the food production business, Arnold Drung keeps an eye out for efficiency. As President of Conestoga Meat Packers, he’s constantly looking for the best return on investment.
“The key to efficiency is getting maximum yield from our inputs. Then you need to sell to the best customer that you can find, the one who’ll give you the best price for the commodity,” Arnold explains. “The export market is vital. We sell product to whatever part of the world that provides the best returns.”
To supply its customers throughout Canada and around the world, Conestoga relies on its 350 employees to process 14,000 hogs per week. The operation’s 150 farmer owners are also its key suppliers.
The co-operative structure allows Conestoga to control supply, production and distribution. With its own fleet of refrigerated tractor-trailers, Conestoga can get the finished product where it needs to be. “You always have to move quickly in this business,” Arnold adds.
When it came time to make additions to the business, Arnold says working with FCC for the capital financing was just a natural fit.
“We already have an excellent team in place with people who really know about the meat business. A lot of our farmer members had experience working with FCC in their personal business and FCC has an understanding of the commodity sector.”
In particular, Conestoga was interested in the flexibility of terms and amortization that FCC could offer.
“Our financing with FCC is just right for our business,” Arnold says. “Like other exporters, we’re challenged by the appreciation of the Canadian dollar. That’s why we want financing with flexible terms. Fortunately, our FCC Senior Relationship Manager is service-oriented. We consider him to be part of the team.”