Posted on 07/23/2016, 10:00 am, by mySteinbach

The provincial and federal governments are investing $500,000 in an expansion project that will increase bacon production at Maple Leaf Food’s Winnipeg-based facility by eight million kilograms every year. This announcement was made by Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler.

“The meat sector is a great source of pride and prosperity to many Canadians,” said MacAulay. “Part of the federal government’s plan to support the agriculture sector is to be a leader in job creation and innovation. I am pleased to announce this strategic investment that will mean more top-quality Canadian bacon in grocery aisles in Canada and across the world.”

Government funding will be used to purchase new processing and packaging equipment for the bacon production line at the Maple Leaf Foods plant in Winnipeg. Maple Leaf Food’s investment in the bacon line expansion project is valued at more than $5.9 million and is expected to be complete later this year.

“Manitoba continues to make strategic investments that will add value to our agricultural industry, creating new jobs and strengthening our economy,” said Eichler. “The expansion reflects our shared commitment to producing high-quality food for the world in a safe and sustainable way. It also reinforces Manitoba’s place as an important centre for food processing in Canada.”

The expansion is expected to create 34 new permanent, full-time jobs as well as 34 part-time jobs and is part of a larger $35-million expansion of the plant. Maple Leaf Foods is Canada’s largest value-added protein company, with fresh and prepared meats operations located in Winnipeg and Brandon, Man., as well as Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. The ministers noted this expansion will help increase exports of Canadian pork to highly valuable international markets.

“Maple Leaf has invested more than $1 billion across Canada to build a highly competitive, sustainable, Canadian-headquartered company,” said Rory McAlpine, senior vice-president, government and industry relations, Maple Leaf Foods. “We appreciate the support from the Canadian and Manitoba governments, which played a direct role in helping our company create and sustain high-skilled jobs here in Manitoba and value-added export opportunities globally.”