The board of directors of Canadian food and pork processor Maple Leaf Foods announced with great sadness the death of its chairman Wallace McCain, who passed away at the age of 81 after a lengthy struggle with pancreatic cancer.
"Wallace made an indelible impact on Maple Leaf Foods, our country and the food industry globally," said Purdy Crawford, lead director of the Maple Leaf Foods board of directors.
"He had a rare gift for business that was driven by his personal courage, love of people, and sharp insights. His incredible accomplishments came about because of his perseverance, humility and belief in others. Wallace's efforts to support his community, and those less fortunate, were tireless. He was an extraordinary man, with a huge heart, and we will miss him profoundly."
Chairman of Maple Leaf Foods, and co-founder and vice chairman of McCain Foods Wallace was a pioneer of the Canadian food industry. With his brother Harrison, Wallace co-founded McCain Foods in 1956 and built it into a multi-billion dollar global French fry and frozen foods company.
In 1995, the McCain family, together with a financial partner, acquired a controlling interest in Maple Leaf Foods and transformed it into Canada's largest bakery and prepared meats company. Maple Leaf Foods has 21,000 employees at operations across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and in Asia.
Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods said, "Wallace McCain was an inspiration, as a father, businessman and humanitarian. His incredible success in business was always balanced with the importance of family and community. He had unwavering values that defined him and everything he did. My family and the entire Maple Leaf community deeply mourn his passing, but also celebrate his life and the contribution he made to so many people."
For further information, please visit www.wallacemccaintribute.ca.
Wallace's successor as chairman will be determined by the Maple Leaf Foods board of directors.
• Maple Leaf Foods