Maple Leaf Foods Inc. announced that it has completed construction of its new, state of the art, value-added poultry plant in London, Ontario, slightly ahead of schedule. Equipment testing has begun and new people are being hired to enable production start-up on schedule in the fourth quarter of 2022.
"I am incredibly proud of our team for achieving this important milestone ahead of schedule in a very challenging environment," said Michael H. McCain, chief executive officer. "As we get closer to commercial production, we know we are well on our way toward realizing the benefits and returns on this $772 million strategic investment. We expect the plant to generate approximately $100 million annually of incremental Adjusted EBITDA on a run-rate basis once production is fully ramped up around the end of 2023. This landmark investment in one of the largest, most technologically advanced poultry processing facilities in the world, is yet another example of how Maple Leaf Foods is strategically positioned to serve growing markets, while remaining true to its sustainability commitments."
Chicken continues to be the most consumed and fastest growing meat protein in Canada, offering versatility, nutrition and a lower environmental footprint. There is particularly high demand for raised without antibiotics and halal chicken products, categories where Maple Leaf Foods has a strong collection of leading national brands, including Maple Leaf Prime and Mina. With a footprint of 660,000 square feet, or the equivalent of over 11 football fields, combined with leading-edge innovation and technology, the London Poultry plant provides Maple Leaf Foods flexibility and capacity to meet growing demand.
"Our investment in industry-leading food safety, environmental and animal care technologies will allow us to efficiently deliver a premium mix of value-add poultry products to meet steadily growing consumer demand, while also strengthening Canada's food system and advancing our vision to be the most sustainable protein company on earth," said Curtis Frank, president and chief operating officer. "London Poultry is truly a next generation plant that exemplifies Maple Leaf Foods' approach to delivering shared value for all stakeholders."
A key part of the planning through start up is building up the operations team. Maple Leaf Foods expects to hire about 600 people by the end of 2022 and will employ about 1,600 people once the plant is operating at full capacity.
About Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
Maple Leaf Foods is a carbon neutral company with a vision to be the most sustainable protein company on earth, responsibly producing food products under leading brands including Maple Leaf, Maple Leaf Prime, Maple Leaf Natural Selections, Schneiders, Schneiders Country Naturals, Mina, Greenfield Natural Meat Co., Lightlife and Field Roast. The Company employs approximately 13,500 people and does business primarily in Canada, the U.S. and Asia. The Company is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario and its shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MFI).