Conestoga Meat Packers to expand again with help of $5.3 million from the province

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Conestoga Meat Packers expects to add 170 new jobs at its Breslau plant thanks in part to $5.3 million from the province.

Kitchener Centre MPP Daiene Vernile made the announcement Friday in Breslau on behalf of Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The investment will help the business boost its productivity and expand its pork processing capacity, she said.

“Supporting a strong and innovative food processing sector will create jobs and strengthen our local economy. Today’s $5.3-million investment will help Conestoga Meat Packers expand local production, bringing 170 new jobs to Waterloo Region,” said Vernile.

The investment, which is expected to bring an increase in jobs over a seven-year term, is coming through Ontario’s Food and Beverage Growth Fund, a subsection of the Jobs and Prosperity Fund.

This particular stream is available for food, beverage and bio-product processing process across the province with more than $5 million in eligible costs to help create sustainable jobs, enhance innovation and strengthen supply chains.

The investment will help the company purchase leading-edge equipment to double meat processing capacity, expanding its product offerings and enhance export revenue.

Arnold Drung, president of Conestoga Meat Packers Ltd., said they will be using this investment to build a state-of-the-art processing facility, facilitating more high-quality product for markets in Canada and around the world.

“We appreciate the government’s support as we continue to work toward our goal of providing the ‘world’s best pork from the industry’s best team,’” said Drung. “This will solidify the future for our 157 Ontario farmer-owners and their families as well as our 900 employees. The expansion provides the opportunity for future growth both in volume processed as well as people employed. We are proud of our team at Conestoga and look forward to providing more manufacturing jobs for Waterloo Region.”

A co-operative of 157 southwestern Ontario hog producers, Conestoga Meat Packers is currently the second largest pork processor in the province.

For Queen’s Park, their involvement aims to help keep Ontario’s pork industry competitive.

“Our government is proud to support the continued growth of Ontario’s food processing sector, an important driver of our economy,” Leal said in a statement. “This support will help Conestoga Meat Packers increase its productivity, enhance competitiveness and create good jobs in Waterloo Region.”

Currently, Ontario is home to Canada’s largest food processing sector, employing 94,500 people.