Harper Government Helps Modernize Manitoba Hog Plant

Brandon, Manitoba, March 9, 2012 - Producers will benefit from increased access to a local processing facility with the support of the Government of Canada. Minister of Public Safety and Regional Minister for Manitoba Vic Toews (Provencher) and member of Parliament Merv Tweed (Brandon-Souris), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today an investment of more than $4.5 million to Maple Leaf Inc. to upgrade its Manitoba processing facilities.

"Today's investment underlines our commitment to the pork industry and our focus on creating jobs and growth in Manitoba," said Minister Toews. "Upgrades to its Manitoba facilities will help Maple Leaf boost productivity and production capacity to fill new market opportunities, which in turn will increase the demand for producers' high-quality swine."

"Supporting Manitoba's meat production industry will return dividends to the farm gate and will create employment opportunities for years to come," said MP Tweed. "Our government is proud to support Maple Leaf's expansions in Manitoba."

These investments will enable Maple Leaf to purchase and install new line processing, heat recovery, and packaging equipment, as well as new value-added production lines. This will improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and increase revenues through the adoption of value-added activities.

"Maple Leaf Foods' total employment in Manitoba will soon grow to approximately 4,000. Our Brandon and Winnipeg plants are vital to a healthy hog and production sector in the province," said Doug Dodds, Chief Strategy Officer at Maple Leaf Foods. "We appreciate the support from the Government of Canada, and we are committed to making our plants in Brandon and Winnipeg as efficient and competitive in both the North American and export markets."

Manitoba's pork industry contributes more than $750 million annually to the provincial economy and provides more than 13,000 jobs for Manitobans.

Under Canada's Economic Action Plan, the $60-million Slaughter Improvement Program made federal repayable contributions available to support sound business plans aimed at reducing costs, increasing revenues, and improving the operations of meat packing and processing operations in Canada.

For more information on this program, visitwww.agr.gc.ca/slaughterhouse.

For more information on Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

For more information, media may contact:

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972

Meagan Murdoch
Director of Communications
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

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