HyLife Foods expansion completed



Submitted photo: Some of the 1,300 HyLife workers gather to mark the opening of the new cut floor in Neepawa. It’s twice the size of the old cut floor.


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press 

The Yellowhead Hall was fancied up, the bar was well stocked and the tantalizing smells of pork delicacies wafted over the crowd. Over 150 people attended what was billed as an Open House. Hosted by HyLife. a Manitoba integrated pork processor, headquartered in La Broquerie, with business around the world, the event showcased the completion of its pork processing facility expansion and upgrade project. The bulk of its investment was focused on the modernization of the Integrated Pork Processing Plant in Neepawa that now boasts leading-edge technology and is one of the most sophisticated facilities in Canada. 

“We committed to this significant expansion and upgrade in response to our market growth in Japan and China,” said HyLife President Claude Vielfaure. “Our investment is totaled at $176 million to ensure we can meet both the quantity and the very high-quality standards our customers are seeking. Our new technology has now been upgraded to standards that are considered world class.” 

The governments of Canada and Manitoba have invested $2 million toward HyLife’s processing expansion through Growing Forward 2, the multilateral agreement which provides strategic investments in agricultural programming and projects. This investment was made to support the purchase of modern processing and packaging equipment to be used in the new expansion.  


Submitted Photo: The official ribbon cutting at the new cut floor at the HyLife Foods plant in Neepawa. Pictured left to right: Guy Baudry; COO Foods, Denis Vielfaure; Executive Chief Operating Officer, Robert Sopuck; M.P. for Dauphin/Swan River/Neepawa, Ralph Eichler; Provincial Minister of Agriculture, Claude Vielfaure; HyLife Foods President, Neepawa mayor Adrian deGroot , Don Janzen; Chairman of the Board and Grant Lazaruk; Chief Executive Officer.

“HyLife is a remarkable success story for Manitoba and we are thrilled to be able to support their continued growth,” said Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler who attended the open house.

HyLife’s expanded investment in Manitoba reaches beyond the plant in Neepawa. Killarney is now home to a new feed mill as well as barn production investments in western Manitoba. These expansion projects have already resulted in 165 additional jobs to bring the number of HyLife employees to 2,000 in Canada. 

Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa MP, Robert Sopuck said, “Investments like HyLife saves communities and there is a ripple effect on the area.”

Mayor Adrian de Groot of the Town of Neepawa expressed heartfelt congratulations to HyLife Foods on their expansion in this region of the province. “Neepawa has been a partner with HyLife since its beginnings here and we look forward to continued positive relationships in the future. As one of the major employers in this area, HyLife continues to add diversity and opportunity to not only Neepawa but also the surrounding communities. There is a vibrancy that is felt throughout the region,” de Groot said. 

Vielfaure said, “We are thankful for a provincial government who have changed the Farm Building Code, brought in the Red Tape Reduction Task Force and the new carbon tax regulations. It all helps our industry.” He also thanked the Town of Neepawa and area for their cooperation and also their financial institutions. Vielfaure noted, “They have been loyal to our opportunities and our challenges.”

During the Neepawa construction phase, HyLife acted as their own general contractor and 45 per cent of the trades came from the south-west and 90 per cent from Manitoba. HyLife has two divisions, the farm side with 700 employees and the processing side with 1,300. When HyLife bought the Neepawa plant in 2008, there were 313 employees at Neepawa. The new facility at Neepawa doubles the size of the cut floor. The old cut floor will be renovated for other purposes going forward. 

HyLife COO Guy Baudry said, “This is a strategic investment to make HyLife the best Canadian food company in the world.”