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Maple Leaf Closes Acquisition of Schneider Foods

TORONTO, ONTARIO, Apr 5, 2004 (CCNMatthews via COMTEX) — Maple Leaf Foods,
Inc. (TSX:MFI) today announced that it has closed the acquisition of Schneider
Corporation (“Schneider Foods”) from Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE:SFD).

“This is long awaited and very exciting news for our two companies,” said
Michael H. McCain, President and Chief Executive Officer. “It is a
transformational event, creating a world class, globally competitive food
company, with over 23,000 employees and $6 billion in sales, operating across
North America and around the world.”

“This transaction has been driven by our longstanding respect for the Schneider
Foods organization and its highly successful Schneiders brand,” continued Mr.
McCain. “Together we will build on our complementary operations, brands and
market strengths to grow both domestically and beyond our borders.”

“As one team, Schneider Foods and Maple Leaf will realize brand new
opportunities resulting from our significantly broadened scale and scope,” said
Douglas Dodds, President of Schneider Foods. “We both share a passion for
innovation. Together we will escalate our ability to rapidly bring new value
added products to market, meeting fast-changing consumer appetites for premium
quality and convenient meal solutions and adding value for our customers.”

Schneider Foods is one of Canada’s largest producers of premium branded quality
food products, specializing in packaged processed meats, poultry and grocery
products, with 2003 sales of approximately $1.2 billion, EBIT of $54 million and
EBITDA of $76 million. After closing, Schneider Foods will become an Independent
Operating Company of Maple Leaf Foods under the leadership of its existing
management. A Merger Leadership Council, chaired by Douglas Dodds, President of
Schneider Foods, has been established to guide the process of uniting the two
companies.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading Canadian food processing company committed to
delivering quality food products to consumers around the world. Headquartered in
Toronto, Canada, the Company employs approximately 23,000 people at its
operations across Canada, and in the United States, Europe and Asia. The Company
reported sales of $5.1 billion in 2003.

CONTACT:          Maple Leaf Foods, Inc.
                  Lynda Kuhn
                  VP Public and Investor Relations
                  416-926-2026

Copyright (C) 2004, CCNMatthews. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods, Inc.