Media Centre
2007/07/18

Winnipeg Primary Pork Processing Plant to Close in October, 2007

TORONTO, Jul 18, 2007 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX News Network) -- TSX: MFI
www.mapleleaf.com

Maple Leaf today announced that it will close its primary pork processing operation located on Marion Street, Winnipeg in October, 2007. This closure reflects a further step in Maple Leaf's strategy to centralize its primary pork processing operations in Brandon Manitoba by the end of 2009, as it reduces its total primary processing volumes and focuses growth in its value-added packaged meat and meals businesses.

"Despite the age and limitations of the Marion Street plant, employees have done a tremendous job in maintaining an excellent safety and productivity record," said Rick Young, President, Maple Leaf Consumer Foods. "Our priority is to minimize the impact on our people and provide an ongoing regional market for producers by transitioning hogs to the Brandon plant."

The Marion Street operation employs 145 people and processes between 15,000 to 20,000 hogs per week. The Company expects to provide other positions for the salaried employees and opportunities for some of the hourly workers at its other regional plants. Affected employees will be provided financial support and outplacement and employment counselling services.

The wind down of the plant will commence in early September and is expected to be completed by October 26, 2007. Costs related to the closure of this plant were previously accrued. Concurrent with the closure, Maple Leaf will be commissioning a second shift at its Brandon plant, which will support its future pork raw material requirements and value-added customers. Manitoba is a very important centre for Maple Leaf's meat processing operations, where the Company will employ approximately 2,800 people when the second shift expansion at Brandon is complete.

Maple Leaf Foods is a leading food processing company. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the Company employs approximately 24,000 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, Europe and Asia. The Company had sales of $5.9 billion in 2006.

SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.

Investor Contact: Lynda Kuhn, Sr. VP Communications & Consumer Affairs, (416) 963-6159;
Media Contact: Norm Sabapathy, VP Labour Relations, Maple Leaf Consumer Foods, (204) 803-9644


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