MONTREAL -- La Coop federée, Quebec's largest agri-food company, has signed a deal to buy the pork and milling assets of F. Menard.

The two companies say La Coop's Olymel division will absorb F. Menard's slaughtering and processing operations, and the Sollio Agriculture division will handle the company's animal feed operations.

F. Menard employs more than 1,200 people with an annual production of over 1.1 million hogs reared across 300 farms -- about 15 per cent of pork production in Quebec.

Founded nearly 60 years ago, the family-run F. Menard is also involved in poultry production, but says those operations are not part of the agreement.

The deal, whose price has not been disclosed, is subject to approval by the Competition Bureau.

The agreement continues a long-term trend of consolidation in Canada's pork sector, the seventh largest in the world and the third-largest exporter, according to the Agriculture Department.

The deal arrives as China and Canada remain locked in a diplomatic dispute that has seen Beijing suspend all imports of Canadian meat products because of claimed concerns over fraudulent inspection reports.