Learn more about our commitments to food and people safety, animal welfare, reducing food insecurity and protecting the planet.
By Randy Huffman, Chief Food Safety & Sustainability Officer, and Geert Verellen, Chief Financial Officer
We’re so proud to share our first annual Integrated Report with our customers, consumers, and stakeholders.
This is the first time we’ve released a consolidated report highlighting our sustainability and financial results. This approach to reporting helps us connect our sustainability initiatives, business strategy and performance, and provides a more holistic view of how sustainability is woven into all aspects of our organization.
Our environmental Sustainability Vision
Did you know that our vision at Maple Leaf Foods is to become the most sustainable protein company on earth? This vision is built on four pillars: Better Food, Better Care, Better Communities, and a Better Planet.
These pillars guide our progress toward achieving our bold vision, and that includes the goals and milestones that we set along the way.
Our Integrated Report dives more into the real work we’re doing against these four pillars. Read on to learn more about how they drive us to work harder every day.
Better Food: Our dedication to food safety
We’re passionate about strong food safety performance — in fact, we’re not shy about saying that we’re obsessed with safety. That’s because we believe in the philosophy that you manage what you measure.
Our organization calculates our Food Safety Incident Rate (FSIR) and Quality Incident Rate (QIR) monthly for every Maple Leaf Foods plant based upon clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). In 2022, we surpassed our FSIR target by 42% and QIR target by 36%. It’s quite the accomplishment! These results reflect the dedication and commitment of our Team Members to the Maple Leaf Foods Safety Promise that we created just over a decade ago.
In addition, our largest prepared meats plant, located in Hamilton, Ontario, was named Site of the Year for the Americas by Brand Reputation Compliance Global Standards (BRCGS), a globally respected, food safety and quality standard-setting body. This was a huge honour that validated our team’s hard-fought journey and food safety commitment.
Better Care: Our passion for animal welfare
Our Better Care pillar reflects our commitment to the highest level of animal welfare, including ongoing reductions in antibiotic use in our animals. In 2022, our antibiotic use in pigs continued trending downward. That trend started in 2014 and we have reduced antibiotic usage by 99.1% across our hog production operations since then. Today, we are Canada’s largest producer of Raised Without Antibiotics (RWA) poultry and one of North America’s largest producers of RWA pork.
In late 2022, we opened our new, state of the art London Poultry plant which represents a huge innovation milestone for our company. This new site introduced a variety of enhancements to ensure the welfare of our animals.
Better Communities: Our mission to reduce food insecurity in Canada
As part of our many commitments, we’re on a mission to help reduce food insecurity in Canada. That’s why we created the Maple Leaf Centre for Food Security, also known as Feed Opportunity.
The Centre set a bold goal to reduce food insecurity in Canada by half by 2030 and is advancing this goal by advocating for systemic solutions. We raise awareness of these missions through our social media accounts and by hosting events like our annual Food Security Symposium.
Throughout the last six years since its creation, the Centre has formed relationships with thought leaders in the food security sector. It’s also committed more $10.5 million to 27 initiatives that span across the country and continues to raise awareness about Canada’s food crisis and how to drive social change and impact.
In addition to our work with the Centre, we help contribute to better communities within Maple Leaf Foods. While we fell short of our 50% gender parity target in 2022 with women representing 39% in managerial roles and above, we continue striving for further progress. We have created a comprehensive Diversity and Inclusion Blueprint and we’ve introduced a series of programs, policies and partnerships to support women at Maple Leaf Foods and break down barriers to their inclusion and advancement.
Mental health is also a priority for our organization. We build on the combination of training, awareness, programs, and benefits that we offer to our Team Members. We were especially thrilled to be recognized by TalentEgg with a “Best Contribution to Mental Health in the Workplace” award last year.
Better Planet: Our efforts to create a more sustainable food system
Our commitment to protecting the planet is stronger than ever. Unfortunately, in 2022, our progress in environmental performance plateaued for various reasons including the post pandemic environment, but largely due to four major new start-ups in Ontario, Manitoba, and Indiana that consumed utilities, without producing products, and this temporarily skewed our intensity performance.
In response, we’ve deployed an operational excellence team to identify near-term reduction opportunities and continue to explore high-impact greenhouse gas reduction technologies that have the potential to significantly accelerate our company’s progress towards our goals.
For the second year in a row, we’ve supported regenerative agriculture as a sustainable, nature-based solution to reduce the environmental impact within our supply chain, improve biodiversity and soil health, boost farmer livelihood, and enhance landscape resilience.
We’re also proud that this year, we’ve significantly reducing the amount of packaging we use. We made our plastic packaging more recyclable without compromising food safety or quality.
At our new London fresh poultry facility, our products come in a 100% recyclable, clear trays made with 95% post-consumer recycled content. We also use eco-friendly trays for products under brands including Maple Leaf Prime®, Lightlife™, Greenfield™, and Schneiders®.
We’re proud of our vision to the be the most sustainable protein company on earth. Join us on our sustainability mission to keep doing good in the world around us — for the food we eat, care for our animals, communities we live in, and planet we’re part of!