Maple Leaf Foods officially announces poultry facility for London

Maple Leaf Foods officially announces poultry facility for London

Maple Leaf Foods officially announces poultry facility for London

Maple Leaf Foods is announcing plans to build a $660-million fresh poultry facility south of Hwy. While the company will put up $605.5 million, it is getting an investment of $34.5 million from the Ontario government and $20 million from the federal government.

The new facility will span almost 60,000 square metres and employ 1,450 full- and part-time workers once operations begin, which is expected in the second quarter of 2021.

With Maple Leaf such a large contributor to the tax base in Perth South, official say it's a loss they may never be able to fully replace.

Skip Pavlick has worked there for 20 years and says, "We do not have first dibs on these jobs, they said that nothing is guaranteed.we would like to carry over our seniority to the new place if we wanted to go there". The St. Marys plant is scheduled to close late 2021 with the Brampton plant closing by mid to late 2022.

"These plants employ a lot of people in good paying, unionized jobs", said Shawn Haggerty, President of UFCW Local 175.

The company didn't specify in the release how many workers would be affected by the Brampton plant. "We will work to minimize the impact of this closure and to achieve the best possible outcome for our members as a result of this announcement".

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"This world-class facility will enable Maple Leaf to meet the steadily growing consumer demand for premium, value-added poultry products, and strengthen Canada's food system", said Michael H. McCain, president and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods.

Maple Leaf will cut 300 jobs over the next four years as it closes facilities in Toronto, Brampton and St. Mary's, Ontario that are between 50 and 60 years old.

"This is an historic investment in the Canadian poultry sector, providing significant stakeholder and economic benefits, and ensuring that Canada has sufficient domestic processing capacity to meet forecasted poultry production and demand", he said.

McCain said chicken is the most popular meat in the country. "I want to thank Maple Leaf Foods for continuing to invest in our great province and in Elgin-Middlesex-London".

Construction of the 640,000 square-foot processing plant will begin next spring, and the facility is expected to be up and running in the second quarter of 2021.

Ontario is considered the third-largest employer in the food and beverage sector in Canada and the US, the government said, with nearly $40 billion in sales each year.

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