Canada-based meat major Maple Leaf Foods announced yesterday (22 May) that it is closing a processed poultry plant in its domestic market to move production to other facilities through early 2025.

The company is shutting down a “further processed poultry” plant located in Brantford, Ontario.

Maple Leaf said that, earlier this year, it determined that the 100-year-old facility would likely require significant ongoing investment to continue long-term operations. 

The closure of the plant will be completed in phases to maintain business continuity and meet customer demand, said the Lunch Mate brand owner.

Just Food contacted the company about the number of jobs at loss but had not received an answer at the time of writing.

The company said the move enables it to better utilise its network and its assets, focus on improving operational efficienc, and cut down on waste.

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CEO Curtis Frank said: “Consolidating production into our current network allows us to reallocate our resources and increase our efficiencies by further optimising the existing, more modern facilities in our network.”

“This supports our vision to be the most sustainable protein company on Earth and our commitment to produce world-class products safely and efficiently as we support the growth of our protein business.” 

According to the Canadian firm’s website, the Braantford factory has 156 employees. It processes chicken wings, strips, nuggets, turkey and beef products and frozen items for foodservice and retail customers. It is 115,000 square feet in size and produces approximately 9.4m kg of food products per year.

The Schneiders brand owner said it is seeking “alternate uses” for the Brantford factory.

Maple Leaf Foods, headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, employs approximately 13,500 people. It does business primarily in Canada, the US and Asia.

The company’s sales for the first quarter of 2024 were C$1,15bn ($0.84bn) compared to C$1,17bn last year, a decrease of 1.5%.

Net earnings for the first quarter of 2024 were C$51.6m compared to a loss of C$57.7m in 2023.

Maple Leaf Foods has announced in February that it has decided to merge its meat and plant-based protein businesses after breaking even in its meat-free division.