The Manitoba government is investing approximately $1.9 million through the Industry Expansion Program to support skills training for approximately 350 new and existing employees at Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

“The pre-cooked bacon industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in North America,” said Economic Development and Jobs Minister Jon Reyes. “Our government’s investment in Maple Leaf Foods Inc.’s expansion will help Manitoba’s economy to recover from COVID-19, strengthen training opportunities in the meat sector, and support innovation and job creation in an industry that is in high demand.”

Manitoba is implementing a two-year agreement with Maple Leaf for the creation of approximately 350 new positions.

Manufacturing of pre-cooked bacon is growing in North America and Maple Leaf has a significant existing portfolio in this industry. Currently, the company sources raw material from Brandon and processes it through co-manufacturers in the U.S. As part of the expansion program, this operation will move to Maple Leaf’s Lagimodiere Boulevard facility in Winnipeg to reduce freight and product costs. In addition, the company will be investing an additional $182 million in the Winnipeg facility to increase production.

“We are grateful for the support our company has received from the Manitoba government,” said Iain Stewart, senior vice-president, operations, supply chain and purchasing, Maple Leaf Foods. “This expansion has the potential to benefit not just our company, but Winnipeg and its residents through good employment opportunities and increased production of nutritious, great-tasting and sustainable products in which we can all take pride.”

Raw material will continue to be sourced from Brandon and the Lagimodiere facility will be the secondary processor. Manitoba’s contribution to the program will cover costs associated with training and developing the new employees.

“Maple Leaf Foods is a global leader in food and protein processing, and this investment builds on our protein strategy, which focuses on sustainability and innovation,” said Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Ralph Eichler. “Their expansion will advance our protein value chain and create significant spin offs that will strengthen the entire industry – all the way from the farm gate to the consumer’s plate.”