BRESLAU, Ontario – The government of Canada pledged an investment, or a loan of sorts, of C$10 million to Conestoga Meats under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriInnovate.
The “repayable contribution” will help Conestoga upgrade its facilities to include a state-of-the-art cooling system that will allow for more controlled temperature reduction. Additional improvements will reduce processing time and improve the shelf life for fresh pork. The upgrades and improvements are expected to help the company land export opportunities in Japan and across Asia which are major markets for pork products.
“Conestoga Meats and its farmer-owners are very appreciative of the interest-free loan that the government of Canada is making to our business,” said Arnold Drung, president of Conestoga Meats. “This is helping us enhance our production capabilities which will allow Conestoga to export more product and create additional jobs in our community.”
Conestoga Meats is a southwestern Ontario pork processing facility that produces, processes and packages fresh, chilled and frozen pork products. The company reported C$450 million in sales for 2017. Conestoga is the second-largest pork processor in Ontario and Canada’s fifth-largest pork packer.
In 2018, Canada’s pork exports were valued at C$4 billion, making Canada a top-three exporter of pork. “Our government is proud to be working with the Canadian pork industry to build a stronger, more innovative sector,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This investment will help the pork sector increase its productivity and capacity to meet growing consumer demand, as well as improve on-farm safety, while fostering continued economic growth and create jobs for our middle-class.”