Canadian Packaging

Maple Leaf Foods Closing Ayr Plant

By Canadian Packaging Staff   

General Maple Leaf Foods plant closure

Food processor says it will move capacity to other Ontario plants.

Maple Leafs Foods has announced it will close its further processing poultry plant in Ayr, Ont. and move the processing to a facility in Mississauga and one in Brantford.

The 42,000-square-foot Ayr facility  processes fully-cooked, partially-cooked and marinated frozen chicken for Maple Leaf Food’s retail and foodservice segments. The plant closure will cost approximately 100 jobs and a further $5.6-million in restructuring costs, according to the company.

“We have an immediate opportunity to increase efficiency and capacity utilization in our value-added poultry business, which this consolidation will achieve,” says Maple Leaf Foods chief executive officer Michael McCain in a press release.

Calling the value-added chicken segment important, McCain says his company will grow the business by focusing its energies at the Mississauga and Brantford plants, though a combined $6.5-million in upgrades at those two plants will be required, and will offer an additional 75 hourly and salaried jobs there.

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The Ayr plant closure follows Maple Leaf Foods’ announcement in the fall of 2011 of a further six prepared meats plant closures by 2014, with capacity expected to be handled at expanded facilities in Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Brampton as well as a new plant in Hamilton.

Other closures announced at that time include four warehouse sites over the next three years, and a plan for the distribution of Maple Leaf Foods’ processed meats to be soon be handled by a plant in Saskatoon and a site to be built in Ontario.

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