EYE ON OPERATIONS

Diversified foods giant Maple Leaf Foods Inc., Toronto, said plans by May 2011 to close its prepared meats facility in Berwick, Nova Scotia. Officials said Berwick is a 200,000-sq.-ft. multi-purpose facility that employs approximately 280 people. It produces bacon, ham, sliced meats, sausage and deli products primarily under the Larsen and private label brands. Officials said production will be consolidated at Maple Leaf prepared meats facilities in New Brunswick and Ontario.

"Our industry is under mounting competitive pressure to become more efficient, and this means we have to make very difficult decisions," said Michael McCain, Maple Leaf president and CEO. "While this is the business reality, it is hard to make the necessary changes, particularly in a community where we have such an important presence. We are initiating discussions with all levels of government and we will work diligently with all parties to find potential alternate uses for the plant that leverage the skilled workforce and provide ongoing employment opportunities in the region. We are also doing everything possible to ease the impact on our people."


Delaware state officials said poultry processor Mountaire Farms will invest approximately $34.5 million to expand its poultry complex in Millsboro and add 31 new jobs by December 2011. Officials said the job additions means Mountaire will now employ more than 3,600 people in Delaware's Sussex County.

Economic development officials said the expansion involves a "state-of-the-art" Resource Recovery Center to recover unused protein from current operations for use in the manufacture of commercial pet food.

“Support for the Resource Recovery Plant project is paramount in solidifying Mountaire’s total integration poultry business in Delaware,” noted Paul Downes, Mountaire Farms president.