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2014/03/27

Maple Leaf to Streamline Organization Following Sale of Bakery Business

 Maple Leaf Foods Organization Structure – Post Bakery Sale

TORONTO, Mar 27, 2014 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) --Simpler Structure Supports Focus on Consumer Packaged Meats

TSX: MFIwww.mapleleaffoods.com

Maple Leaf Foods (MFI:TSX) today announced changes to its organizational structure and leadership that will be effective upon completing the sale of its 90% ownership in Canada Bread Company, Inc. to Grupo Bimbo, S.A.V. de C.V., which is expected to occur in the second quarter.

"Following the sale of our bakery operations, Maple Leaf will be a leading, branded consumer packaged meats company, focused on profitable growth within and eventually beyond Canada," said Michael H. McCain, President and CEO. "These changes will support that future by consolidating multiple layers of management into a streamlined, responsive and integrated structure."

Transitioning to the new organisation will result in a number of changes in the executive team, as some long-serving members retire and other roles are eliminated. At the most senior level:

    --  Gary Maksymetz will succeed Richard Lan as Chief Operating
        Officer. Gary has over three decades of commercial and
        operational experience in the North American meat industry,
        with 20 years at Maple Leaf where he has held a range of
        executive roles in the Company's fresh and prepared meats
        businesses and has led these operations for the past four
        years.
    --  Debbie Simpson will succeed Michael Vels as Chief Financial
        Officer. For the past seven years, Debbie has held senior
        Finance roles at Maple Leaf, where she has been responsible for
        financial reporting and consolidation, debt financing,
        divestitures, treasury, capital spending and risk management.
        Mike will remain with the Company until the end of the year to
        lead the separation of the bakery business, the Maple Leaf
        organizational transition and support the transfer of his
        responsibilities to Debbie. Mike will be leaving the
        organization after a long and impactful career at Maple Leaf
        where he drove success across a number of major financial,
        operational and strategic initiatives.
    --  Richard Lan will serve as Chief Customer Officer until the end
        of 2014, at which time he will retire from the Company. In this
        role, he will support the transition of his extensive
        commercial knowledge and relationships, working with sales
        leaders to continue to enhance the customer-oriented foundation
        of the business. Richard has been a major architect of the
        Company's sales strategies and has been with Maple Leaf since
        1995. He has held the position of COO, Food Group for the past
        eight years.
    --  Scott McCain, Chief Operating Officer of the Agribusiness
        Group, will be retiring at the end of June after 19 years with
        Maple Leaf. His leadership and knowledge of the agribusiness
        sector and manufacturing contributed to enhanced profitability
        and realization of significant value for the Company.
    --  Other information regarding management changes is available on
        the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at
        www.mapleleaffoods.com


The new leadership team has been selected from a deep bench strength of management talent with extensive leadership skills, operational and industry experience. Each of them has already made a very positive impact at Maple Leaf through periods of significant change. Together, they have extensive knowledge of the food sector and Maple Leaf Foods, with an average tenure at the Company of almost 20 years. Over the next few months the new senior executives will work with their teams to establish the right structure and resources to continue to build excellence within their functions and efficiently meet the Company's future requirements.

"I am highly confident that our team going forward has the talent and experience to execute on our plans and enable Maple Leaf Foods to achieve its potential," said Mr. McCain. "We are all excited about embarking on a new chapter as we complete a major restructuring that will establish a highly competitive, low cost supply chain and increase our focus on delivering higher levels of profitable growth."

Mr. McCain continued, "I want to acknowledge Michael, Richard and Scott and thank them for their extraordinary dedication, skill and contributions to shaping Maple Leaf Foods into a market and innovation leader."

Maple Leaf is in the final phase of implementing a strategy to significantly improve profitability and global competitiveness in its prepared meats supply chain. These organizational and leadership changes will align the Company's management and administrative structure to efficiently meet the Company's future requirements and contribute to delivering management's targeted EBITDA margin expansion. The Company will incur restructuring costs related to these organizational changes and other cost reduction initiatives necessitated by the sale of the Bakery business. Estimates of these costs will be disclosed when the Company reports its first quarter results.

About Maple Leaf

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading food processing company, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 18,000 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Asia.

Forward Looking Statements

This document may contain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities law. Such statements include, but are not limited to, expectations regarding the timing and outcome of the protein transformation strategy including the EBITDA margin targets for 2015 and statements regarding the timing of the completion of the sale of Canada Bread to Grupo Bimbo as contemplated by the Arrangement Agreement. These statements are not guarantees of future events and involve assumptions and risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed, implied or forecasted in such forward-looking information. Some of the factors that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from the results expressed, implied or forecasted by such forward-looking information, including some of the assumptions used in making such statements, is discussed more fully in the Company's Annual Management's Discussion and Analysis for the period ended December 31, 2013 including the section entitled "Risk Factors", that are updated each quarter in the Management's Discussion and Analysis, and are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Maple Leaf does not intend to, and Maple Leaf disclaims any obligation to, update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

SOURCE Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

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SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Investor Contact: Nick Boland, 416-926-2005; Media Contact: Dave Bauer, 416-926-2020

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