Media Centre
2000/04/19

Maple Leaf Foods Ships Pork to China -

-Burlington
and Brandon fresh pork operations approved for exports to China, first shipment
enroute





TORONTO, April 19, 2000 - Maple Leaf Foods Inc. announced today that its fresh
pork processing operations in Burlington, Ontario and Brandon, Manitoba have
been approved to export fresh pork product directly to China. The first two
containers of frozen pork left yesterday. These are the first pork processing
operations in Canada to receive approval under new health protocols negotiated
between the Canadian and Chinese governments.




"Maple Leaf Foods International sold the first two containers of pork directly
to China yesterday. The shipments are already on their way," said Michael
McCain, President and Chief Executive Officer of Maple Leaf Foods. "We are
delighted our plants were the first pork operations to be recognized. China
represents a huge opportunity for Maple Leaf and this is an important
development for our global business."




The transaction was the first conducted under the official protocol covering
pork and beef signed on April 17, 2000 by Minister Lyle Vanclief of Canada and
Mr. Li Changjiang, Chief Administrator of China's State Administration for
Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ-SA). The negotiations were very
complex and took about one and a half years to complete.




"Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are to be congratulated for their
sustained effort to open the Chinese market for Canadian processors and
producers," said Mr. McCain. "This marks an historic turning point in the
Canadian meat trade with China and will benefit the entire industry."




Maple Leaf's world-class fresh pork operations in Burlington, Ontario and
Brandon, Manitoba were officially approved by the Chinese veterinary
authorities earlier this month. They are the first two pork plants in the world
approved for export to China.




Maple Leaf Foods International, an operating company of Maple Leaf Foods, is
one of Canada's largest international marketers of food products. The company
has been active in the Asian market for over 30 years.




Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading, global food processing company.
Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the company employs more than 12,000 people
at its operations across Canada and in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Maple Leaf Foods reported sales of $3.5 billion in 1999.

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