Animal Protein

In Manitoba, cattle (beef and dairy), hogs, sheep, bison, fish, poultry, and many more are prevalent livestock species. Meat products continue to be Manitoba's largest food manufacturing sector. Meat production sales increased by 6.7 per cent in 2021, from $2.2 billion in 2020 to $2.4 billion in 2021. This amount represented 39 per cent of overall food production revenues in 2021. Manitoba garnered $1.5 billion in revenue from the export of 385 million kilograms of meat and meat products in 2021. Dairy product production also increased in 2021, with $914 million in sales value, a 3.7 per cent rise over the previous year. With an increase of 21.8 per cent from the previous year, animal food production saw the most significant percentage growth in 2021 by generating $475 million in sales value. For more information, see the Manitoba Food Manufacturing Sales Report.
Photo of animal-based proteins such as beef, chicken, eggs, and fish are arranged on a counter

Explore the following categories to learn more about Manitoba's processing sector:

Bovine Processing

Bovine refers to the meat of both beef and bison. Every year, the average Canadian consumes 40 pounds of beef. With the growing popularity of sustainable food among consumers, retailers and restaurants are looking for these sources of beef to be sustainable. Manitoba has over 20 abattoirs licensed to operate and locally process beef.

  • The majority (77 per cent) of beef cattle in Manitoba are raised on cow-calf farms, while 15 per cent are raised in feeder and stocker operations, and 7 per cent are raised in feeding operations.
  • In 2022, 90,800 head of Manitoba-origin cattle were processed in Canada.
  • 41,435 cattle and calves were processed at one federal and 15 provincial plants.
  • There was one federally inspected processing plant and nine provincially inspected plants harvesting bison in 2020.
  • In 2021, Manitoba generated $967,126 in revenue by exporting 246,627 kilograms of bovine products.
  • The United States and Japan were the biggest export markets for bovine products.
  • Manitoba’s only federally inspected plant for cattle and bison processing is True North Foods, based in Carman.
  • A list of provincial abattoirs for cattle and bison can be found here.

For more information, see the Beef Cattle Sector Profile.

Pork Processing

In Manitoba, the entire process of producing pork is closely integrated, from genetics to manufacturing feed and specialized services through processing. The province has seen significant investment in both primary production and further processing facilities.

  • Manitoba is the largest pig exporting province is Canada, with 5 per cent of the national pig export.
  • Twenty-two smaller plants, including Maple Leaf Foods in Brandon and Hylife Foods in Neepawa, prepare products ranging from fresh and frozen pork to processed meats.
  • In 2022, the number of Manitoba-origin pigs processed in Canada reached a record high of 5.0 million head.
  • Approximately 50 per cent of all Canadian pork is further processed into cooked and cured products.
  • Processors generated $1.4 billion in revenue by exporting pork and pork products to 18 countries in 2022.
  • In 2022, Manitoba exported pork products valued at around $796 million.
  • The United States is the biggest exporting market for pork products.
  • Competitive pork prices and advanced-processing technology have resulted in the efficient production of bacon, ham, and sausage products.
  • Provincially Licensed Abattoirs.

For more information, see the Hog Sector Profile.

Federally Licensed Pork Processors

Sheep and Lamb Processing

There is a growing demand for lamb, with Canada importing significant quantities from other countries. Manitoba is positioned to meet this demand by supplying consumers with quality, sustainably produced lamb products. With increasing consumer demands, retailers are making changes to the types of lamb products offered to consumers, including pre-marinated products, ground lamb, high-quality cuts, and smaller barbeque cuts.

  • In 2022, 24,900 head of Manitoba-origin sheep and lambs were processed in Canada.
  • In 2022, 13 provincially licensed plants processed 3,688 sheep and lambs.
  • Lanolin, an impermeable fatty oil present in sheep wool, is a highly sought-after product by cosmetic industries since it is an essential element in cosmetic goods.
  • A list of provincial abattoirs can be found here.

For more information, see the Sheep Sector Profile.

Poultry Processing

The poultry and egg industry in Manitoba is self-sufficient, with commercial farms supplying most of the eggs and meat consumed by Manitobans. Chicken and turkey meats are in high demand as consumers favor poultry meat as a superior alternative to red meat.

  • Processors generated $2.2 million in revenue by exporting 2.2 million kilograms of chicken products in 2021.
  • As of May 2022, 814,589 kilograms of chicken products were exported, valued at $859,074. The United States is the biggest export market for chicken products.
  • There are two federally inspected and three provincially inspected facilities for chicken processing.
  • About 55 per cent of eggs are sold to restaurants and merchants. The remaining 45 per cent are processed into liquid, frozen or dry forms.
  • Manitoba is home to 19 egg-grading stations, including two large egg graders.
  • In 2021, Manitoba generated around $2 million by exporting 676,936 kilograms of eggs and egg products.
  • As of May 2022, the export revenue stood at $935,428 with an export volume of 195,906 kilograms of eggs and egg products.
  • Manitoba is home to one of the largest processors in Canada, Burnbrae Farms Ltd.
  • Manitoba has one federally inspected turkey processor in Blumenort, with processing capacity for whole turkey, ground turkey, and ready-to-cook turkey products, among other processed turkey products.
  • There is one hatchery located in Gunton, with supply coming from six turkey breeder flocks.
  • Exceldor Cooperative, a renowned processor in turkey and chicken products has a production plant in Manitoba.
  • In 2021, Manitoba generated $325,263 in export revenue with an export volume of 230,603 kilograms of turkey and turkey products.
  • As of May 2022, the export revenue and volume stood at $63,576 and 45,269 kilograms, respectively.

Poultry Processors

Dairy Processing

Manitoba’s strong dairy processing sector fosters an ideal environment to build the dairy protein industry. The strong business environment has resulted in significant investments by major dairy processors.

  • The industry is driven by 11 processing plants managed by 12 dairy companies.
  • Manitoba supplies around four per cent of Canada’s demand for dairy products.
  • In 2020, retail sales of dairy products were strong for most categories; demand for butter and cream remains robust with a respective 11.7 per cent and 10.2 per cent rate of increase at the retail level.
  • In 2021, the province exported 3.7 million kilograms of dairy products valued at $7.1 million, the United States being the biggest export market.
  • The 2022 export report looks promising, with export revenue of $3.7 million and an export volume of 1.6 million kilograms of dairy products as of May.

Dairy Processors

Fish Processing

The majority of fish farmed or wild caught in Manitoba is processed locally, including the production and marketing of value-added fish products. Transportation infrastructure supports the fish industry as the product moves through the supply chain to premium markets.

  • In addition to being consumed locally, Manitoba fish products are marketed across Canada, and a large proportion is exported to the United States.
  • Products also enter European and Asian markets, including China.
  • In 2021, the province generated $59 million by exporting 7.1 million kilograms of fish and fish products.
  • The export revenue and volume stand at $28 million and 3 million kilograms of fish and fish products as of May 2022, with the US being the biggest export market.

Fish Processors


For more information about Manitoba’s animal protein processing sector or if you would like this information in an alternate format, email us at: