July 25, 2023
The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing nearly $2.4 million over two years through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership Capital Infrastructure and Investments program to support a $52.8-million capital project at Winkler Meats, federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson announced this week.
The Manitoba government has approved over $7.8 million in loan financing and tax rebates, in addition to the Sustainable CAP contribution.
"Manitoba's agri-food processing sector plays a vital role in the province as an economic driver. With this investment, Winkler Meats can deliver more of their high-quality, value-added products that they are so well known for. Working in collaboration with the partners in this project will serve to make the sector and supply chain stronger and more sustainable," said Bibeau.
"Our government is taking concrete action to accelerate development in Manitoba's agri-processing sector by assisting with capital investments that enhance efficiency, productivity and environmental sustainability. Enabling companies to scale up production creates new jobs, supports the skill development of existing employees, increases the value and volume of Manitoba-processed foods and strengthens our province's economic competitiveness," said Johnson.
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.
"We are grateful to receive support from Sustainable CAP and Manitoba's Capital Infrastructure and Investment program. This further cements Manitoba as a leading protein center 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," said Jeff Senebald, president, Winkler Meats.
"Johnsonville appreciates the collaboration with Winkler Meats, the Province of Manitoba and Canada. 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," said Michael Stayer-Suprick, CEO, Johnsonville Holdings.
The ministers noted the project will:
increase the volume of harvesting and processing, which will advance value-added opportunities within Manitoba.
more than double the number of jobs at the facility, to a total of 155 full-time equivalent positions.
enhance the resiliency and benefits of the existing supply chain.
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.
expand the company's contribution to Manitoba's gross domestic product by five 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.
"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, Manitoba Pork. "Fifty-five percent 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 neighbors to the south, a partnership that we must work to preserve."
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