Canadian pork processor HyLife planning $125m expansion

Company to construct new finishing barns and feed mill, in addition to plant expansion.

HyLife recently announced that steady growth in demand for its product has resulted in the need for an investment of up to $125 million (Canadian) to modernize and expand its pork processing system, starting as early as 2017. This will include another expansion of Hylife’s flagship pork processing facility in Neepawa, Man.

“HyLife’s investment into growing our Japanese and Chinese markets has been very rewarding and is sending the signal that we can do more,” Hylife president Claude Vielfaure said. “This new investment in Manitoba will mean not only more jobs across the province but a greater demand for value-added pork, thanks to our integrated system and our great primary producer partners.”

HyLife has become Canada’s number-one exporter of fresh chilled pork to Japan, returning $200 million worth of sales from the Japanese market annually. HyLife recently opened a restaurant in the Daikanyama district of Tokyo, Japan, to further highlight the quality and taste profile of HyLife pork.

“HyLife has taken that unique Japanese consumer demand for its domestic pork and worked tirelessly to recreate this taste profile at home in our integrated production and processing system,” Vielfaure explained. “The result has been a solid and growing base of Japanese consumers seeking to buy HyLife’s premium fresh chilled pork products, which we grow and process right here in Manitoba.”

HyLife has also had a steady presence in the Chinese market, grossing $80 million in sales since breaking into the market in 2008. While in China with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in early September, HyLife announced a contract with the Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com.

In order to meet growing demand and address international competitive pressure, the time has come to reinvest in Hylife’s integrated system, the company said. HyLife envisions expanding the Neepawa plant by moving to a full double shift and adopting innovative technologies to improve yields and processes and increase product shelf life. Hylife also plans to construct new finishing barns and a feed mill. This will bring as many as 165 new jobs to the communities in which HyLife operates and will increase its total employee base to approximately 2,000.

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