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News 450 views last update:Jul 24, 2008

Canadian pork plant put up for sale

Canadian food company Maple Leaf Foods has started up the process to sell Ontario's largest pork plant before the end of the year.

At the moment, the company is soliciting bids for the plant in Burlington, Ontario, and anticipates a sale will be completed by the end of this year.

The Toronto-based food company's plant now employs about 1,200 people and processes about 42,000 pigs per week, about 16% below its capacity of 50,000.

Re-orientation
Maple Leaf's decision to sell the plant is the consequence of a re-orientation towards more value-added products. The transition involves the sale of primary processing businesses.

"Our Burlington business is well established, with long-standing customer relationships, a skilled and stable workforce and an excellent mix of value-added business," said Michael Vels, chief financial officer of Maple Leaf Foods in a press release.

"It operates one of the more efficient pork processing plants in North America, strategically located close to high density markets. Our investments in the plant and our people have resulted in a profitable business that represents an excellent investment in the global pork processing industry."

Reorganisation
Maple Leaf announced the major reorganisation of its meat processing operations in October 2006, shutting or selling several plants across Canada.

The ultimate goal of the reorganisation was for Maple Leaf to meet all its future requirements for fresh pork through one pork slaughter and processing plant at Brandon, Manitoba, supported by that plant's expansion to a double shift.

The Burlington facility became part of Maple Leaf in 1991 and slaughtered 2.2 million pigs in 2007. The company expects slaughter volumes to be consistent with that level this year.

Related website:
• Maple Leaf

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