Maple Leaf Foods investing C$85M for 70,000 sq.-ft. expansion, equipment, technology upgrades at its Winnipeg, Manitoba, processing plant

WINNIPEG, Canada , October 21, 2011 (press release) – Approximately 350 new jobs will be created following the announcement by Maple Leaf Foods (MLF) of an $85-million expansion to its processing plant on Lagimodiere Blvd. in Winnipeg, Premier Greg Selinger announced today as he stood alongside Scott McCain, president and chief operating officer of Maple Leaf’s Agribusiness Group, and Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz.

“Manitoba is a great place to do business and that’s why our government is making investments to support our economy, encourage business growth and make Manitoba an even better place to open up shop,” said Selinger. “When the economic downturn hit, we had a decision to make, and that decision was to keep investing in our economy to keep it moving forward. The decision from Maple Leaf Foods to expand in Winnipeg is welcome news.”

“Our decision to establish a centre of excellence in Winnipeg for bacon and value-added ham products speaks to our confidence in Manitoba and its pork industry,” said McCain. “With this latest expansion, Maple Leaf Foods will have invested more than $100 million in the Lagimodiere facility since 2008.”

“The City of Winnipeg is pleased to play a partnering role to facilitate Maple Leaf Foods’ significant reinvestment in our city that creates jobs for our citizens and helps our economy flourish,” said Katz. “This is certainly an exciting time for investments in Winnipeg and we are proud to be the new home of this new centre of excellence in food processing.”

Elements of the new design include:

* a 70,000-square-foot expansion with extensive renovations inside the plant,
* construction of an on-site waste-water pre-treatment facility, and
* state-of-the-art meat processing equipment and technology.

The expanded facility will consolidate all Maple Leaf Foods’ bacon processing from across Canada and will also support increased value-added ham processing.

Selinger noted MLF will be eligible to apply for assistance through existing provincial programs including the Manitoba Manufacturing Tax Credit, the Industry Expansion Program for training assistance and the Manitoba Industrial Opportunities Program.

Maple Leaf Foods is a leading food processing company, headquartered in Toronto. The company employs approximately 21,000 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia. The company had sales of $5 billion in 2010.

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