March 6, 2007


Maple Leaf to close its hog plant in Saskatchewan


Following its previous announcement regarding the pending closure of its 11th Street Plant in Saskatoon, Maple Leaf has declared today (March 6) that it will close the primary pork processing operations in Saskatchewan by June 1, 2007.


Maple Leaf expects to offer ongoing employment to most of the approximately 300 hourly employees affected, through filling current vacancies and supporting the seasonal increase in production over the summer at the company's further processed operations at the 11th Street and the McLeod Avenue plants.


Maple Leaf also expects to continue recruiting to meet its ongoing labour requirements. The company is in the process of conducting a detailed analysis to support the eventual transfer of the 11th Street secondary processing operations to other Maple Leaf Foods plants.


The wind down of primary processing operations will also affect approximately 40 salaried positions. Supporting the transition of these people to other employment is a priority, including other opportunities within Maple Leaf Foods.


Maple Leaf president Rick Young is thanking the company's employees for being supportive as the firm undergoes a difficult period. Young hopes the plant's closure would have a minimal impact on their workers as they adjust to their new employment transition.


Young said Saskatchewan remains a very important market and operating base for Maple Leaf Foods, where the company employees another 950 in its further processed meats business.


Maple Leaf will continue to invest in its Saskatchewan operations to support the strategic realignment of its business and growth in its value-added meats and meals operations, he said.