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Maple Leaf Foods to Close Poultry Plant

9 February 2012, at 8:34am

CANADA - Maple Leaf Foods is to consolidate its further processed poultry operations into its Brantford and Mississauga plants in Ontario, where there is available capacity and opportunities for future growth.

"We have an immediate opportunity to increase efficiency and capacity utilization in our value-added poultry business, which this consolidation will achieve," said Michael H. McCain, President and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods.

"Value-added chicken is an important market for us and we plan to grow the business by focusing our operations and investments in our Mississauga and Brantford plants."

This includes fully cooked, partially cooked or marinated frozen chicken products prepared for Retail and Food Service customers. The category excludes refrigerated prepared chicken products such as deli meat and meal solutions.

The Company will transfer production from its 42,000 square foot facility in Ayr, Ontario and close the plant in May 2012. Investments totalling approximately $6.5 million will be made in Mississauga and Brantford to support the production transfers.

In addition, the Company will incur approximately $5.6 million before taxes in restructuring costs, of which approximately $4.2 million are cash costs.

The investment in the Mississauga facility will create approximately 75 new hourly and salaried positions at that facility. The closure of the Ayr plant will result in a net reduction of approximately 100 positions.

In addition to working notice, affected employees will receive severance packages, as well as outplacement and counselling assistance, and will be encouraged to apply for other positions across Maple Leaf Foods. Maple Leaf will also work with all levels of government and community leaders to seek to find alternate, non-competing uses for the facility that would leverage the skill base of the workforce and reduce the impact of the closure.

"We deeply regret the impact on our people. We will treat them fairly and support them through this transition to secure new employment, either within Maple Leaf or in the broader economy," said Mr. McCain.