Media Centre
2000/07/21

Maple Leaf Foods Strengthens Commitment to Western Canadian Hog Producers with Launch of Signature ™ Pork

BRANDON, MB, July 21, 2000 --- Maple Leaf Foods announced today that it will
introduce an adapted version of its SignatureTM
Pork program to western Canadian pork producers. The initiative will begin this
week through its Brandon procurement team. SignatureTM
Pork is an innovative, comprehensive system for modern pork production. The
program was developed by Maple Leaf in consultation with western industry
experts, including Landmark Feeds and its affiliate Lundman Feeds. It is
designed to improve hog quality and the overall competitiveness of the Canadian
pork industry by delivering the value-added pork products that global customers
demand.




First launched in Ontario in August 1996, SignatureTM
Pork has been adapted for Western Canadian producers. The system provides a
range of support services including: contracts, financial incentives, feed and
nutrition programs, genetics, marketing, risk management, and an innovative
Cost of Production contract component.




"This initiative is a key first step in advancing Maple Leaf's vertical
coordination strategy," said Michael Detlefsen, Executive Vice President,
Vertical Coordination of Maple Leaf Foods. "Vertical coordination is based on
forming partnerships with producers to build value across the entire pork value
chain, drive out unnecessary costs, and develop the value-added products
consumers want."




"Maple Leaf is investing in the long-term health and prosperity of Western
Canadian pork producers," said Michael H. McCain, President and Chief Executive
Officer of Maple Leaf Foods. "SignatureTM
Pork is a win-win-win. Producers win, we win and the industry wins."




Producers benefit from technical support, financial rewards for quality, and a
more predictable cash flow to better manage their businesses. Maple Leaf
benefits from having a stable supply of consistent, high-quality hogs for its
Brandon plant. The industry benefits by becoming more competitive through the
improvement of hog quality, implementation of industry best practices and
enhanced coordination of the pork value chain.




The western Canadian SignatureTM program
has three contract options: SignatureTM
Basic, SignatureTM Plus, and SignatureTM
Medallion. The SignatureTM program
sets out specific parameters for market hog characteristics and outlines a
range of preferred genetics, health protocols, and feed and nutritional
programs to achieve those characteristics.




"Maple Leaf values relationships with all producers in Western Canada. Our SignatureTM
contracts offer an attractive range of options and opportunities to encourage
all producers to work with us," said Patrick F. Jones, President, Maple Leaf
Pork. "Today's producers are not simply raising hogs. They are producing pork
for a global industry that has tremendous growth potential."




The Maple Leaf procurement team starts this week meeting with producers to
discuss the details of the SignatureTM
Pork program. Producers interested in discussing how SignatureTM
Pork can work for them should contact 1 877 YES HOGS (937-4647) or visit the
Maple Leaf Web site at www.mapleleaf.ca.




FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Gary Stott

Director, Western Procurement

Maple Leaf Pork

(204) 571-2560



Carolynn Penton

Vice President

Fleishman-Hillard

(416) 214-0521

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