Pork producer Hytek gets a Life in rebranding

Canada’s largest hog production company will officially rebrand Tuesday under a new moniker, HyLife, which it says will “more accurately reflect” its position in global food markets.

Subsidiaries of the company now formerly known as Hytek Ltd. will follow suit and adopt the new name at a later date, the company said in a release.

“Rebranding our company is a natural evolution when you consider our significant growth and the increasing international market share we are capturing,” HyLife’s executive vice-president Claude Vielfaure said in a release late Monday.

The company, based at La Broquerie, Man., east of Steinbach, noted it has “acquired businesses to fulfill (its) vision of achieving a fully integrated business model that assures customers of the highest standards of excellence, quality and food safety.”

Pork packer Springhill Farms, a Hytek subsidiary at Neepawa, Man., about 75 km northeast of Brandon, is scheduled to “transition” to the HyLife Foods brand effective April 4, the company said.

“The brand will be applied to all our operational areas in North America and will enjoy brand strength around the world as we extend our reach deeper into all existing and potential global markets,” Vielfaure said.

HyLife/Hytek was founded in 1994 as a joint venture and now produces 1.4 million hogs annually in Canada and the U.S. for sale into markets worldwide including China, Japan and Russia.

The company in 2005 was party to an ambitious plan for a $200 million kill-and-cut hog plant in the industrial end of the St. Boniface district of Winnipeg.

The other partners in the proposed OlyWest plant, Quebec packer Olymel and Saskatchewan hog producer Big Sky Farms, later backed out, leaving Hytek pledging to find other investors. The OlyWest plan ultimately died as Hytek bought Springhill in 2008.

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