A joint, two-year initiative is expected to send millions to a local meat processor in Manitoba.
Nearly $2.4 million is expected to fund new harvesting and processing equipment at the Winkler Meats processing facility, along with providing support for a high-capacity packaging line. The funds, provided by both the federal and Manitoba governments, are adding to a $52.8-million capital project at the facility.
“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,” said Marie-Calude Bibeau, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food. “Working in collaboration with the partners in this project will serve to make the sector and supply chain stronger and more sustainable.”
Provincial Minister of Agriculture Derek Johnson added that assisting the agri-processing sector with capital investments can 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.
In a press release on July 24, the province said the Winkler Meats capital project will:
- Increase harvesting and processing volumes.
- Increase the number of jobs at the facility, to a total of 155 full-time equivalent positions.
- Enhance the resilience and benefits of the existing supply chain.
- Reduce the number of trucks transporting live animals and associated freight-related greenhouse gases, by diverting millions of kilograms of live animals from export to the United States.
- Expand contribution to the province’s gross domestic product by five times, to $23 million per year.
Jeff Senebald, president of Winkler Meats, said the joint initiative “cements Manitoba as a leading protein centre in North America.”