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Recognition for our commitment to our people and the planet

accepting our awards at the NAMI awards ceremony on April 19

Maple Leaf Foods is honoured and humbled to receive the Inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award from North American Meat Institute!

By Jumoke Fagbemi, Senior Vice President, People

Passion runs deep in everything that we do at Maple Leaf Foods. That passion drives us to strive for a workplace that is diverse, inclusive, and safe. We’re also committed to achieving our vision to become the most sustainable protein company on earth. I’m proud to say our passion earned us several awards from the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), including the Inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award.

We were also elated to receive 2022 Worker Safety Awards for four of our processing facilities in Canada and a 2022 Tier 3 Environmental Recognition Award. We couldn’t have done this without our people.

Maple Leaf Foods received these awards at the Environment, Labor & Safety+ Conference in Carlsbad, California.

Inaugural award for our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion values

Maple Leaf Foods was recognized for demonstrating the strongest Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) vision and strategic roadmap — proving that our organization has a defined way of measuring our progress, that not only increases the diversity of our workforce but also measures the satisfaction of our people through comprehensive engagement survey questions.

Building diverse and inclusive teams is one of our deeply held Leadership Values that shapes our culture and guides our practices and decisions. We know that we’re so much stronger when our people are accepted and valued for who they are and what they each bring to the workplace. At Maple Leaf Foods, we believe in the benefits a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace brings – a place where people feel they belong.

After all, our people are at the core of everything we do. Being a diverse and inclusive organization means we’re able to harness the wisdom of the team and build on our successes. We’re proud to share this award with our people.

Recognition for our work site safety practices

We’re OBSESSED with safety – and not the least bit embarrassed to say so. That’s surely why we received four 2022 Worker Safety Awards from the Institute to recognize our plants’ dedication to achieving the highest safety performance. 

We’re delighted to be recognized with the Award of Honour — the highest honour — for three Maple Leaf Foods plants:

We were also recognized with an Award of Merit for our prepared meats Parma facility in Laval, Quebec.

We mean it when we say that we don’t want our people getting hurt on the job. That’s why we’ve created an internal program called the “Zero Hero Safety Club” so our team members can be our partners in achieving our goal of zero occupational injuries. We’re on the road to zero and excited to keep it going. In fact, our Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) improved by 92.3% in 2021 when compared to our 2012 baseline reporting year — the year our OHS Strategy was developed.

We take a preventative approach to workplace safety by identifying work-related hazards through monthly inspections and acting on those findings to encourage continuous improvement. As part of onboarding, all new team members receive comprehensive OHS training and communication to reinforce the importance of these safety practices and to continually strengthen our work safety culture.

Environmental recognition for our deep care for the planet

We also received NAMI’s 2022 Tier 3 Environmental Recognition Award for our Heritage prepared meats facility in Hamilton, Ontario. This award recognizes our dedication to continuous environmental improvement, including the development and implementation of Environmental Management Systems (EMS).

Did you know that we are carbon neutral? It’s true! We’re committed to environmental sustainability and became the world’s first major carbon neutral food company in 2019. This was a big step in our fight against climate change.

We’re also working to reduce our environmental footprint by 50% by 2025 — and we’ve made great initial progress on our journey.  

We’ve made important sustainability changes, like developing more sustainable packaging and looking at all impacts of our supply chain. In the fight against climate change, action matters!

Looking forward to a brighter future for our people

While we’re honoured to be recognized for these awards from NAMI, we know there’s still much work to do in creating a more diverse and inclusive company, in creating safer workplaces and in protecting our planet by fighting climate change. Our team members deserve the credit for what we’ve accomplished, and I know they will lead the way to even greater progress in the future.

These accolades are particularly meaningful to us because they represent our values and our commitment to creating shared value for all our stakeholders, including our people, our communities, and the planet. They also reflect Maple Leaf’s Purpose every day we operate: to Raise the Good in Food. 

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