Toronto – Maple Leaf Foods has closed its wiener production facility in Hamilton, Ont. on Brockley Road.
But it’s not necessarily bad news – at least not for the 187 employees who are being moved over to the other plant and will keep their jobs. The move does mean that 26 staff will be out of work, reports theSpec.com.
Maple Leaf says it has produced wieners at the Brockley Road site since 1994.
The move is part of the company’s transformation of its prepared meats network.
“We have established world-class facilities and technologies to step-change our profitability and competitiveness,” says Michael McCain, president and CEO.
“This year, the focus is on shifting production to these new facilities, closing legacy plants, and realizing related cost and productivity gains. We are doing this in a way that is respectful of our people and provides them ongoing employment opportunities wherever possible. A low-cost, highly efficient network will provide a strong platform for growth and support Canada’s broader agrifood sector.”
The changes are part of the company’s seven-year restructuring plan. (See: “To sell or not to sell a bread division – Maple Leaf Foods is considering all its options.”) The plan is scheduled to be completed by 2015 and, says the company, is expected to deliver significant returns to shareholders.
Maple Leaf Foods says it plans to close four other meat plants by the end of the year, reports theSpec.com. Once the transformation is finished, the company will operate 13 meat plants instead of 22 and two distribution centres instead of 19.
Other changes the company has made recently include closing two Maple Leaf bakeries in the Greater Toronto Area, with the operations also being consolidated in Hamilton, says theSpec.com.
In February, the company agreed to sell its 90 per cent stake in Canada Bread to Grupo Bimbo, a Mexican company that is offering about $1.83 billion to buy out Maple Leaf and minority shareholders.
Maple Leaf also sold its Rothsay rendering business, which had operations in several provinces, to Texas-based Darling International, and found buyers in Ontario for its commercial turkey farms, hatchery operation and breeding farms.
The company employs approximately 18,000 people at its operations across Canada and in the U.S., the U.K. and Asia. It had sales of $4.4 billion in 2013.