Back to Media

Maple Leaf Foods to Consolidate Further Processed Poultry Operations

TORONTO, Feb. 7, 2012, 2012 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) –Streamlining operations will increase efficiencies and deliver
opportunities for growth in value-added chicken market

Maple Leaf Foods (TSX: MFI) today
announced that it will consolidate its further processed poultry
operations into its Brantford and Mississauga Ontario facilities where
there is available capacity and opportunities for future growth.

“We have an immediate opportunity to increase efficiency and capacity
utilization in our value-added poultry business, which this
consolidation will achieve,” said Michael H. McCain, President and CEO,
Maple Leaf Foods. “Value-added chicken is an important market for us
and we plan to grow the business by focusing our operations and
investments in our Mississauga and Brantford plants.”

This includes fully cooked, partially cooked or marinated frozen chicken
products prepared for Retail and Food Service customers. The category
excludes refrigerated prepared chicken products such as deli meat and
meal solutions. The Company will transfer production from its 42,000
square foot facility in Ayr, Ontario and close the plant in May 2012.
Investments totalling approximately $6.5 million will be made in
Mississauga and Brantford to support the production transfers. In
addition, the Company will incur approximately $5.6 million before
taxes in restructuring costs, of which approximately $4.2 million are
cash costs.

The investment in the Mississauga facility will create approximately 75
new hourly and salaried positions at that facility. The closure of the
Ayr plant will result in a net reduction of approximately 100
positions. In addition to working notice, affected employees will receive severance
packages, as well as outplacement and counselling assistance, and will
be encouraged to apply for other positions across Maple Leaf Foods.
Maple Leaf will also work with all levels of government and community
leaders to seek to find alternate, non-competing uses for the facility
that would leverage the skill base of the workforce and reduce the
impact of the closure.

“We deeply regret the impact on our people. We will treat them fairly
and support them through this transition to secure new employment,
either within Maple Leaf or in the broader economy,” said Mr. McCain.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (“Maple Leaf” or the “Company”) is a leading
Canadian value-added meat, meals and bakery company committed to
delivering quality food products to consumers around the world.
Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the Company employs approximately
21,000 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States,
Europe and Asia.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains, and remarks made by representatives of the
Company in connection with this release, may contain forward-looking
statements.

Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements with respect
to the Company’s strategies, plans, actions and expectations including
expectations about future investments, costs efficiency and capacity
utilization and other expected benefits of the announced plans. Words
such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “attempt,” “may,” “will,”
“plan,” “believe,” “seek,” “estimate,” and variations of such words and
similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking
statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance
and involve assumptions, risks and uncertainties that are difficult to
predict.

These statements are based on and were developed using a number of
factors and assumptions including, but not limited to: stability in the
Canadian economy, stability in prevailing exchange rates among the
Canadian dollar and the U.S. dollar, stability in the availability and
pricing of raw materials, energy and supplies; the ability to implement
price increases successfully; stability in the competitive environment;
no future product recalls; the continued ability of the Company to
access cost effective capital when needed; and no unexpected or
unforeseen events occurring that would materially alter the Company’s
current plans. All of these assumptions have been derived from
information currently available to the Company including information
obtained by the Company from third-party sources. These assumptions may
prove to be incorrect in whole or in part. In addition, actual results
may differ materially from those expressed, implied or forecasted in
such forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company’s
expectations only as of the date hereof.

Factors that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially
from the results expressed, implied or forecasted by the
forward-looking statements include risks associated with implementing
and executing projects and plans to transfer production between plants;
risks posed by food contamination, pandemics and product recalls; risks
associated with the price of commodities and the inability of the
Company to control commodity prices; risks associated with exchange
rate fluctuations; risks associated with changing consumer tastes,
preferences and buying patterns; and risks posed by competition.
Additional factors that could cause actual results or outcomes to
differ materially from the results expressed, implied or forecasted by
the forward-looking statements are discussed more fully in the
Company’s filings made with the Canadian securities regulators
including in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the Company’s
Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31,
2010. All of such filings are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Some of the forward-looking statements may be considered to be financial
outlooks for purposes of applicable securities legislation including,
but not limited to, statements concerning future costs and capital
expenditures. These financial outlooks are presented in order to
provide readers with information regarding the expected scope of the
planned changes. These financial outlooks may not be appropriate for
other purposes and readers should not assume they will be achieved.

The Company does not intend to, and the Company disclaims any obligation
to, update any forward-looking statements (including any financial
outlooks), whether written or oral, or whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2012/07/c2085.html

SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Investor Contact: Nick Boland, 416-926-2005 Media Contact: 1-888-995-5030 or
416-926-2020