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Transferring agricultural expertise from South America to Canada


Maple Leaf Foods are a global food processing company based in Canada. With a shortage of local skilled candidates, the company needed to look elsewhere to recruit the labour it needed to meet production demand increases at its meat processing factories in Alberta and Manitoba.

The business identified that the essential skills could be found amongst workers in Colombia, El Salvador and Honduras.  In order to facilitating the safe and legal labour migration from these markets to Canada,  Maple Leaf and IOM and signed bilateral agreements concerning IOM’s assistance in in this process to work in the "Manitoba, which is mainly agricultural and not densely populated, is facing a shortage of workers, so international recruitment is essential to helping us find qualified candidates." Susan Yaeger-Szoke, Head of International Recruitment for Maple Leaf.

Candidates are hired for a period of two years under the Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program.  Maple Leaf nominates those wishing to stay in Canada, once approved, permanent residence status is awarded and can bring his or her spouse and minor children to Canada IOM’s role is to assist in the identification of potential workers, the documentation, and with their preparation and travel to Canada.