BUSINESS

Maple Leaf Foods to close Winnipeg plant permanently on last day of 2014

12/22/2014 09:43 EST | Updated 02/21/2015 05:59 EST
TORONTO - Maple Leaf Foods (TSX:MFI) says one of the three plants previously identified for closure next year will be shut permanently on Dec. 31 and the other two will close by the end of March.

The company's plant on Panet Road in Winnipeg will be the sixth closure under a multi-year reorganization.

A Maple Leaf spokesman says the plant has about 30 employees. Some will move to Maple Leaf's expanded Lagimodiere plant, also in Winnipeg, or elsewhere in the company while others will leave or retire.

The Lagimodiere plant, which will be Canada's largest producer of bacon, is fully commissioned and requires only minimal work to optimize its operation. Production of the "Hot Rods" sausage snacks made at the surplus Winnipeg plant has been moved to a Maple Leaf operation in Saskatoon.

Two other previously announced closures, in Kitchener, Ont., and Toronto, will be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2015 — bringing the total closures under the reorganization to eight.

A facility in Brampton, Ont., has been expanded while a new Ontario plant in Hamilton is being commissioned to produce wieners and sliced meats and is expected to in full production by the end of the first quarter.