Maple Leaf Foods' Canada Bread Bakery Ltd. unit said it plans March 31, 2011 to close its frozen bakery in Laval, Quebec. Officials said the move will affect approximately 55 workers.

Officials said the Laval bakery produces crusty and specialty breads and rolls and that Canada Bread will shift production to other facilities with available capacity.

"This closure was a difficult decision to make and we will do everything we can to ease the impact on our people," said Réal Ménard, president, Frozen Bakery division with Canada Bread. "However, it will allow us to improve the cost structure and competitiveness of our business, while continuing to deliver the same high standards of products and service to our customers and consumers."

Canada Bread noted that although it has "no immediate plans for the bakery, it will keep the facility and consider it for other potential new business and development opportunities in the future."

Canada Bread is a leading producer and distributor of fresh bakery products, frozen par-baked products and fresh pasta and sauces. The company had 2009 sales of (C)$1.7 billion and employs approximately 8,000 people at operations across North America and in the United Kingdom.