The job cuts are necessary to “establish a highly competitive cost structure” and to “support growth”, said a company statement.
Maple Leaf Foods CEO Michael McCain added: “We have significant opportunity to use our scale and cost efficiency as a source of competitive advantage. As we complete our network transformation, we are now able to address the additional resources that managing years of change required and place greater rigour on building a cost culture.
“Our goal is to minimise the cost of running the business, so we can focus our investments and future job creation on growing the business.”
Trimming the fat
The latest cuts equate to 11% of the company’s salaried workforce – although reports online suggest 64 salaried members of staff will lose their jobs. Reuters also reported these job cuts came after analysts visiting the new Ontario meat plant noted excess staff and supervisors.
The job losses come after the company has spent several years trimming its fat and streamlining operations. In 2010, Maple Leaf Foods launched a program to shut a number of plants in a hope of money into the upgrade of remaining sites.
And in the same year the company sold its bakery unit, Canada Bread, to Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo for C$1.83bn ($1.38bn).
'World-class supply chain'
As a result of tough streamlining, the company is now in an “enviable position”, according to McCain.
“The ramp-up of our new world-class supply chain is nearing completion; we have a portfolio of market-leading products and brands, leadership in innovation and an accomplished team of people who deliver strategic value to our customers.
“We are committed to building a more sustainable company as a core growth platform and we are taking important steps to reduce costs and redirect resources to those areas providing the greatest opportunity for business expansion.”
These are plans that seem to be working: In September 2015, Maple Leaf Foods posted its third-quarter results with net earnings of C$18.7m ($14m) compared to a loss of C$26.7m (£20m) last year.
No one from Maple Leaf Foods was available to comment.