Recognized as one of Atlantic Canada's Top Employers (2016) and Nova Scotia's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 6, 2016)
Here are some of the reasons why High Liner Foods Incorporated was selected as one of Atlantic Canada's Top Employers (2016) and Nova Scotia's Top Employers (2017):
- High Liner Foods supports new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents with maternity and parental leave top-up payments (to 95% of salary for 12 weeks) and also supports parents-to-be with an in vitro fertilization subsidy (to $2,500) -- additionally, the organization supports parents with college-aged children through an academic scholarship program (to $3,000 per scholarship)
- High Liner Foods helps employees prepare for the longer term with retirement planning assistance, phased-in work options and contributions to a defined contribution pension plan, with the company's unionized employees participating in a defined benefit pension plan
High Liner is a high flyer in seafood
After attending a two-day education program called Seafood Savvy at High Liner Foods' Portsmouth, N.H. office in June, Jeff Wiest returned to his work as Occupational Health and Safety Manager at the company's Lunenburg, N.S. plant, energized and engaged.
"Seafood Savvy is a deep dive into the company's products and people and the industry," says Wiest, who hails from Alberta and joined High Liner in 2014. "I was blown away by the presentations. You can tell when someone is speaking passionately about what they do. I left feeling like I don't have a ceiling and there are opportunities for career growth."
High Liner Foods was founded in 1899 as a salt-fish operation in Lunenburg, which remains the home of Canadian operations. Today the company is the leading North American processor and marketer of value-added frozen seafood, buying more than 30 species from 20 countries.
"We have passionate people sharing news about what the company is doing in its different locations," says Joanne Brown, Executive Vice President of Human Resources. That includes making an impact in such areas as global sustainable fishery, aquaculture and environmental practices and growing its Hunger Mission, which aims to supply 10 million meals over 10 years across North America to communities in which the company operates, through financial and food donations.
Corporate philanthropy efforts don't go unnoticed. "It's important for me to work for a company that gives back and doesn't just take," says Wiest. "To me, that's the right way to do business. High Liner tries to make a positive impact wherever it can."
Brown had met some of the leadership team before joining High Liner in 2007, when she was looking to work for a Nova Scotia-based public company with an international presence. "They have a reputation for integrity and treating people well. I thought, these are the people I want to work with."
In the last decade, High Liner has grown immensely through acquisition and is currently in the process of rolling out a new corporate vision and mission that reflect this growth and the future direction of the company. Yet in spite of the expansion, employees still feel closely connected to one another. Wiest feels particularly protective of his coworkers, given his position.
"If everyone I take care of goes home with no injuries at the end of each day, I know I've done a good job," says Wiest. "This is a phenomenal place to work. People support and encourage each other, and the management teams' doors are always open."