Maple Leaf closing prepared meats facility

by Staff
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TORONTO — Maple Leaf Foods is closing its prepared meats facility in Berwick, Nova Scotia. The facility produces bacon, ham, sliced meats, sausage and deli products under the Larsen and private label brands.

“Our industry is under mounting competitive pressure to become more efficient, and this means we have to make very difficult decisions,” said Michael McCain, president and chief executive officer. “While this is a 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.”

The facility is 200,000 square feet, and operations will begin to wind down in February with the facility closing at the end of April. Production will be consolidated at Maple Leaf’s facilities in New Brunswick and Ontario. About 280 people work at the plant.

Estimated closing costs before taxes are $17 million, with $10 million to be recorded in the fourth quarter of 2010.

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