Have you ever thought about what it takes to bring home the bacon? Thanks to another major expansion at the Maple Leaf Foods processing facility in Winnipeg, bringing home the bacon means a lot more than the addition of a sizzling side to the eggs on your breakfast plate. While pork-savvy chefs and barbecue bloggers have inspired new bacon creations, quick service restaurants continue to use bacon to spruce up menu offerings, further fueling bacon demand beyond what you see in the grocery store.

Winnipeg earned itself the title of being the Bacon Capital of Canada in 2016 when it became the Centre of Excellence for bacon production in Canada. The most recent expansion, a $182-million, 73,000 square foot addition to the existing state-of-the-art Maple Leaf Foods processing facility in St. Boniface will serve to meet the growing consumer demand for bacon by also becoming the main hub for pre-cooked bacon production. This investment adds even more value to Manitoba’s burgeoning agri-food industry.

This facility has expanded multiple times over the past decade producing over 12 brands of the sweet, salty snack to consumers across Canada and the United States. Maple Leaf Foods produces 38 million kilos of bacon annually, enough to fill almost 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools! The expansion has also increased the capacity for the company’s other bacon products and serves as a Centre of Excellence for hams as well. The injection of 350 new jobs brings the facility’s workforce to more than 1,900 people including production supervisors, managers, quality assurance personnel, and maintenance workers. With sustainability and innovation being key, there is also plenty of opportunity for skills training as the company continues to fill positions and ramp up production to create and sustain high skilled jobs in Winnipeg.

Sustainable expansion in the hog sector helps bolster Manitoba’s economy. Since 2017, over 40 new barns or barn expansions have been approved across the province, amounting to well over $200 million in private investment. Major expansion is taking place all over Manitoba, with new barn spaces in small communities like Roblin, and a state-of-the art genetic breeding facility in Plumas. All these new facilities represent substantial new investment in the sector. Manitoba Pork continues to work with investors, local governments, rural communities, and the provincial government to support new investment, economic development, and opportunities for all Manitobans.

Manitoba’s hog sector is responsible for over 14,000 jobs across the province, which makes the sector one of the province’s largest employers. Growth in the sector, including new and expanded facilities for raising pigs, on-going advancements in animal care that help ensure food safety, and additional processing capacity, provides for a wide variety of career and employment opportunities. The industry requires veterinarians, environmental scientists, electricians, food production workers, and transport drivers, to name a few, as well as indirect support from tradespeople and other sectors that help continue to grow the industry. Over half of the 14,000 employees in Manitoba’s hog sector are connected to processing, transportation, and related service businesses.

Dozens of Winnipeg and Manitoba businesses have benefited from the ongoing expansion of the bacon facility, including Winpak Ltd, a manufacturer and distributor of high-quality packaging materials for the food and beverage industry. “Winpak manufactures and supplies high quality packaging materials for perishable protein products in Winnipeg, Manitoba”, states James Holland, President, Winpak Division. “We look forward to supporting Maple Leaf Foods’ expanded Winnipeg operation with their World Class Manufacturing and industry leading approach to sustainability.”

Rural and urban economies have struggled to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, and many sectors are looking to hire top-quality staff. New development in the hog sector can help lead the charge, given that every $1 created by hog production in Manitoba generates $2.75 in economic activity, and every job in hog production helps create or sustain upwards of five jobs in indirect employment. There are few social contributions that have a more positive impact on people’s lives than access to a good job, and the hog sector is proud to be one of the few sources of new job creation in rural areas, which helps more Manitobans literally and figuratively bring home the bacon to their families.

Hog farmers continue to be important and significant contributors to their communities, and with more investment and quality jobs on the horizon, the benefits of the hog sector in this province will ensure a legacy of growth and sustainable financial support for decades to come. Bringing home the bacon for our province takes a lot of people working together to ensure that Manitoba’s hog sector can continue its legacy of growth.

To learn more, visit manitobapork.com/economy

bacon advertorial

Manitoba Pork represents 624 Manitoba hog farms

Manitoba Pork

Manitoba Pork’s office at 28 Terracon Place is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, closed from 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. for lunch. As much as possible, please contact by emailing or phoning in requests for information, ear tags, and other resources. Contact us by phone, fax, email or regular mail.

Tel: 204-237-7447
Fax: 204-237-9831
24-hour Emergency Contact Line: 1-833-310-0108

28 Terracon Place
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
R2J 4G7