By Joel van der Veen
DAVIDSON — Panther Industries is breaking into new territory, thanks to a partnership with Saskatoon-based Alawa Foods.
Staff at the company’s Davidson plant loaded their first railcar of locally-grown lentils for Alawa on Nov. 15.
General manager Clayton Schneider said Panther was looking to expand beyond its current offerings, which include distribution for the oil and gas industries, custom packaging and manufacturing of wooden pallets.
“We were just looking at different ways of diversifying,” he said.
The plant is outfitted with a transloading station that can move goods from truck to rail or vice versa.
Several months ago, Schneider began discussions with Alawa Foods CEO Heidi Dutton Weber about using Panther as a transload station.
Alawa has been in operation for roughly a year and a half. Company officials were interested in doing business with local producers, but needed a location to transfer crops into railcars.
Dutton Weber, a 15-year veteran of the pulses industry, said the company saw room for more competition in the area. Their current focus is on red lentils.
Alawa is currently constructing a 30,000 square-foot pulse processing facility at Vanscoy, with plans to begin operations there by the fall of 2017.
Feedback from producers has been positive since the first railcars went out from Panther, and Dutton Weber said they’re open to talking to others.
“We’re ready to engage other producers in the area,” she said. “Our hope is to give them another choice to help market their grain.”
For the full story, please see the Dec. 5 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.