Maple Leaf Foods announced this week the closure of its fresh turkey processing plant in Thamesford, Ont., the largest of its legacy network. The closure, to be effective by 2018, will affect approximately 400 workers. The plant is the seventh of eight plant closures planned as part of a modernization plan.
Production will be moved in phases to a new Sofina Foods plant in Mitchell, Ont., as part of a new processing agreement between the companies. The company said the agreement is expected to create a “more efficient and scaled turkey processing industry in Ontario.”
“We will continue to invest in and grow our market position in the Canadian turkey industry, including our relationships with producers, while retaining complete ownership of the high quality supply required to support growth in our value-added business,” chief executive officer Michael McCain said. “This was a very difficult decision, given the impact on our employees and the community, but necessary given the substantial physical limitations at our 80-year-old Thamesford plant.”
Maple Leaf Foods pledged to work with the community of Thamesford to seek alternate uses for the property.