Image: Inside a Maple Leaf Foods poultry broiler barn. Birds shown are at 2-½ weeks of age, just before they become fully feathered.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Image by Maple Leaf Foods
Spending nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars on a new poultry processing facility in London, Ontario, Maple Leaf Foods announced it was completed ahead of schedule and will start up in Q4 2022.
The new 660,000-square-foot facility is the equivalent of over 11 football fields and will provide the company with greater flexibility and capacity to meet consumer demand for chicken products. Along with testing new processing and packaging equipment, the company has begun hiring people—600 by the end of 2022 and 1,600 in total for when the plant reaches full capacity.
"I am incredibly proud of our team for achieving this important milestone ahead of schedule in a very challenging environment," stated Michael H. McCain, Chief Executive Officer of Maple Leaf Foods. "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."
With chicken continuing its trend of being the most-consumed meat protein in Canada, Maple Leaf Foods seeks to capitalize on the high demand for chicken products raised without antibiotics and halal, categories where it has many strong brands, such as Maple Leaf Prime and Mina.
"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," explained Curtis Frank, company 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."
Maple Leaf Foods said that to attract and retain talent, it has incorporated many features in the design of the plant to create a modern, inviting, and inclusive environment.
It will be holding an in-person community career fair on Saturday, October 29, 2022, from 9 AM – 1 PM at RBC Place (300 York St, London). Alternatively, interested candidates are also invited to check out the posting and apply online at: https://www.mapleleaffoods.com/careers/job-search/?location=London&city=London