Manitoba pork sector receives government funds to expand processing capacity

The funding will enhance efficiency, productivity, environmental sustainability
calendar icon 26 July 2023
clock icon 3 minute read

The governments of Canada and Manitoba announced this week an investment of nearly $2.4 million over two years through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) Capital Infrastructure and Investments program to support a $52.8-million capital project at Winkler Meats, federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba agriculture minister Derek Johnson said.

The Manitoba government has approved over $7.8 million in loan financing and tax rebates, in addition to the Sustainable CAP contribution.

Government funding will go toward new harvesting and processing equipment and a high-capacity packaging line. The expansion is a joint venture between Winkler Meats and Johnsonville Sausage, which sources some of its live sow supply from Western Canada.

The Ministers noted the project will increase the volume of harvesting and processing, which will advance value-added opportunities within Manitoba. It will more than double the number of jobs at the facility, to a total of 155 full-time equivalent positions. It will also enhance the resiliency and benefits of the existing supply chain, and divert millions of kilograms of live animals from export to the United States, which will reduce the number of trucks transporting live animals and associated freight-related greenhouse gases. Finally, it will expand the company's contribution to Manitoba's Gross Domestic Product by 5 times, to $23 million per year.

    The project aligns with the Manitoba Protein Advantage Strategy, which aims to attract $1.5 billion in investments and create 1,550 new jobs in the animal and plant protein sector by 2025, noted Johnson, adding that it will also enhance benefits for producers and processors through value chain collaboration.

    The expansion work is being undertaken in consultation with Efficiency Manitoba, which has identified opportunities for energy savings on the design and construction of the building in order to help be more environmentally friendly and contribute to economic competitiveness with lower energy costs for the company.

    This project also aligns with the Opportunities for Economic Growth Action Plan, a comprehensive set of tangible, focused and strategic actions that the Manitoba government is advancing in partnership with stakeholders and the private sector to create a stronger economic future for Manitobans, Johnson said.

    "We are grateful to receive support from Sustainable CAP and Manitoba's Capital Infrastructure and Investment program," said Jeff Senebald, president, Winkler Meats. "This further cements Manitoba as a leading protein centre in North America. The occasion to partner with a company like Johnsonville to share our respective skill sets to grow and improve the pork supply chain is an exciting opportunity for Winkler, Manitoba, and Canada."

    "Johnsonville appreciates the collaboration with Winkler Meats, the Province of Manitoba and Canada," said Michael Stayer-Suprick, CEO, Johnsonville Holdings. "We're confident that with our respective capabilities and experience, Johnsonville and Winkler Meats can continue providing a solid pork supply chain and quality products for retail customers and our end consumers."

    "Manitoba's hog sector is thrilled by this new investment in value-added processing right here at home, a shining example of Manitoba's protein advantage in action," said Rick Préjet, chair of Manitoba Pork. "Fifty-five per cent of the jobs in agriculture and agri-food processing rely on the hog sector and its producers. We are excited to build on the over 20,000 Manitobans that rely on our sector for a well-paying job across our province. Jobs like these being created in Winkler are possible because of open trade between Canada and the United States. This announcement continues our crucial partnership with our neighbours to the south, a partnership that we must work to preserve."

    © 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.