Media Releases


CREATING JOBS IN RURAL SASKATCHEWAN

December 17, 2001

Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan (CIC) is investing $15 million in Premium Brands Inc., Western Canada's leading producer and distributor of specialty food products. Premium Brands will expand its operations in Saskatchewan, with immediate projects expected to create 120 jobs in the Yorkton area and other rural regions of the province.

"This is a good investment because it will create 120 jobs in rural Saskatchewan and it has the potential to generate a significant rate of return over the life of our investment," CIC Minister Maynard Sonntag said. "The company's expansion projects will also develop our primary and secondary food processing industries and our hog production capacity, helping Saskatchewan become a leader in value-added agriculture."

Premium Brands will double the sow processing capacity at Harvest Meats in Yorkton, which has the only sow processing facility in Western Canada. The expansion will ensure an adequate supply of raw material for its specialty sausage products such as European style sausages and Harvest's farmer's sausage. The expansion will also allow for the production of meat snack products under McSweeney's and Grimm's brand names.

As well, Premium Brands is working with Community Pork Ventures Inc. of Outlook (CPVI) to double its hog production over the next several years. Premium Brands owns one third of CPVI.

"We are proud to be entering into this partnership with Premium Brands," Deputy Premier and Agriculture and Food Minister Clay Serby said. "Harvest Meats has been an important part of Yorkton's economy for many years, while CPVI has played a significant role in many rural communities across Saskatchewan. We are pleased with the continued growth in both of these businesses and look forward to a long and rewarding partnership with the Premium Brands group of companies."

"This is the second major addition to the Yorkton facility since Harvest's merger with Premium Brands in 1998," Premium Brands President George Paleologou said. "The expansion of our meat snack capacity will enable us to accelerate our growth plans for Grimm's and McSweeney's brands in eastern Canada and the U.S. The incremental sow processing capacity will also help to ensure we have the high quality raw materials needed to support this growth."

"Both Harvest and CPVI are leading players in their respective markets due in part to the advantages they gain by being able to leverage Saskatchewan's natural competitive advantages," Premium Brands Chairman and CEO Fred Knoedler said. "Looking forward, we see significant opportunities for the further development of primary and secondary processing in Saskatchewan."

Premium Brands has been in the food processing business since 1917 and has manufacturing facilities in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Washington and Oregon. Premium Brands has more than 1,400 employees, including 150 in Saskatchewan.

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For more information, contact:

Ted Boyle
Crown Investments Corporation
Regina
Phone: (306) 787-9039

Kenn Propp
President, Harvest Meats
Yorkton
Phone: (306) 783-9446