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Maple Leaf Foods Named One of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures

Toronto, Ontario – January 17, 2008 – Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSX: MFI) was today named as one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ of 2007.

“Our goal is to build a culture that is innovative, action oriented and non-political; where people feel respected and encouraged to voice their opinions, empowered to contribute, and guided by our shared values,” said Michael H. McCain, President and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods. “We fundamentally believe that recruiting and retaining absolutely the best possible people, and continuously investing in their growth and development, will create the high performance culture that will drive our success.”

Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ are selected following interviews with leading executives conducted by Waterstone Human Capital Ltd. as part of their annual Canadian Corporate Culture Study™. Interviewees were asked: “What Canadian organizations do you admire most in terms of having a corporate culture that has helped them be successful?”

Among the initiatives Maple Leaf uses to build and maintain its strong corporate culture are:

  • Leadership Edge – Recognizing that leadership drives success, Maple Leaf established a major initiative in 1999 to create a values-based, high performance culture. The Company’s 21 values are grouped into six categories and the entire Maple Leaf culture revolves around these leadership behaviours: “do what’s right,” “have a bias for action,” “be performance driven,” “continuously improve,” “be externally focused” and “dare to be transparent.” These values provide the foundation for recruitment, personal development initiatives and the performance review process.
  • Leadership Academy – Working with the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, the Academy offers a high quality, company-specific curriculum in partnership with some of the best business and management educators in North America. Thousands of employees have participated since the initial session in 1999.
  • Weekly CEO Message – Each week, President and CEO Michael McCain writes an email to all employees providing a candid review of his activities, success stories, impressions about the industry and more.
  • In Focus – A quarterly employee conference call hosted by Michael McCain that features specials guests and other expert practitioners to illustrate values in action and share experiences.
  • Awards – These awards celebrate individual excellence and commitment to the Leadership Edge values.
  • Board Connect – Top performers spend a day with an independent member of the Board of Directors to tap into their expertise and allow the Director to gain greater insights into the business.

The Canadian Corporate Culture Study™ provides insight into the cultures of many of Canada’s most successful organizations, helping to better understand the role that leaders are playing in developing these cultures. For more information visit

Maple Leaf Foods is a leading food processing company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 22,500 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia, and had sales of $5.9 billion in 2006.

Media Contact:
Jeanette Jones
Director of Communication