January 18, 2007


Maple Leaf to close poultry plant in Canada's Nova Scotia



Maple Leaf Foods will close its fresh poultry processing facility in Canard, Nova Scotia, at the end of April, a release from the company said Tuesday (Jan 16).


"The viability of the Canard plant has been challenged by its age and insufficient volume to justify the major investment required to improve the cost structure and make it profitable," said Bruce McCullagh, Senior Vice President Poultry Operations. "We deeply regret the impact this will have on our employees and we will be providing financial and outplacement support to ease their transition."


Atlantic Canada remains a very important market for Maple Leaf premium-quality poultry products, and the company will continue to meet customer and consumer needs from its other facilities, the release said.


The Canard facility, which is more than 50 years old, produces fresh poultry products, including branded and private label branded chicken, primarily for customers in Atlantic Canada. The closure will affect approximately 380 employees.


Supporting their transition to other employment is a priority for Maple Leaf Foods, including other potential jobs within the company.


Products produced at the Canard plant will be transitioned to other Maple Leaf facilities by the end of April to ensure ongoing supply to customers.


Nova Scotia remains a very important market and operating base for Maple Leaf Foods, where the company employs another 900 employees in its meat and bakery operations.


The company expects that closure costs, including severance, decommissioning and asset write-downs, will result in a restructuring charge of approximately US$8.5 million before tax, of which approximately US$3 million will be recorded in the fourth quarter of 2006 and the remainder when the facility is decommissioned in 2007.