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Maple Leaf Foods closing Brantford plant, eliminating 170 jobs



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Maple Leaf Foods is closing a 100-year-old poultry processing plant in Brantford and shifting production to other plants.

The plant employing about 170 salaried and unionized workers will close in early 2025, the company said Wednesday.

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Maple Leaf Foods said it will try to place workers at other plants in London, Guelph and Hamilton.

“The decision to close any plant is one that we take very seriously,” Maple Leaf Foods president and chief executive Curtis Frank said. “We are very proud of our team at Brantford and appreciate the great work they do each and every day.”

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The company said the 100-year-old facility on Canning Street in Brantford would require significant ongoing investment to continue long-term operations.

Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis said the plant’s closing will have a significant impact on workers and the community.

“I was very disappointed to learn today that one of our city’s longstanding food plants will be relocating its operations to more modern facilities in Ontario,” he said.

Davis said he spoke with Maple Leaf executives Wednesday and learned the aging facility cannot be upgraded to meet today’s operating standards.

“I was heartened for the employees to hear that this is not happening overnight, as Maple Leaf will be closing the plant on a phased basis over the next eight to 10 months,” he said. “I was also very encouraged that during the phased closure the company will be working to relocate as many employees as possible to other Maple Leaf plants in or near to Brantford.”

The company said the phased closing will maintain business continuity and meet customer demand.

“Consolidating production into our current network allows us to reallocate our resources and increase our efficiencies by further optimizing the existing, more modern facilities in our network,” Frank said. “This supports our vision to be the most sustainable protein company on Earth and our commitment to produce world-class products safely and efficiently as we support the growth of our protein business.”

A company spokesperson said the Brantford plant is close to other Maple Leaf plants in Guelph, London and Hamilton.

“Consistent with our track record, we are aiming to support and identify opportunities in our network for those impacted wherever possible,” the spokesperson said.

Maple Leaf Foods opened a 61,400-square-metre (660,000-square foot), state-of-the-art poultry plant on Wilton Grove Road in London in 2022 that now employs 1,600.

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