Sportswear and snowboard apparel manufacturer Far West Industries Inc is to axe its Canadian factory under plans to produce all of its clothing through offshore manufacturing.

The Vancouver-based company said in a news release it was following the lead of its competitors and expects its entire 2004 Spring and Fall line to be made offshore having used overseas producers for the past two years.

It added: "The company is unable to compete effectively in the marketplace with Canadian manufactured products against the products made offshore. Most, if not all, of the company's competitors already use offshore contract manufacturing facilities.

"This will improve the company's gross margins and also allow its management to focus on design, marketing and sales activities."

Far West said the Vernon plant would complete all Gore-Tex production orders for Fall 2003 bookings and it plans to convert most of its residual fabric into finished goods.

It added the factory, its machinery and workforce would now be "bundled" together and offered to "contract manufacturers, manufacturers in other businesses and any other interested parties".