The company has decided to focus its value-added chicken operations on its Brantford and Mississauga plants, both in Ontario. “We have an immediate opportunity to increase efficiency and capacity utilisation in our value-added poultry business, which this consolidation will achieve,” said Michael H McCain, Maple Leaf president and CEO.
“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,” he added.
Production from the 42,000sq ft facility in Ayr will be transferred to the other plants by May 2012, with investments of CAD$6.5m to cover the move. “In addition, the company will incur approximately CAD$5.6m before taxes in restructuring costs, of which approximately CAD$4.2m are cash costs,” Maple Leaf said.
Approximately 75 jobs will be created in the Mississauga plant, partially compensating the loss of 175 jobs from the Ayr plant.
“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,” McCain added.
The company’s poultry operations include fully cooked, partially cooked or marinated frozen chicken products sold in the retail and foodservice sectors.