Maple Leaf Foods shares update on new poultry plant


During its second-quarter earnings call, Maple Leaf Foods Inc. provided an update on its new London, Ontario, poultry plant that opened in Nov. 2022.

Curtis Frank, the chief executive officer for Maple Leaf Foods, said that he expects the facility to ramp up by the end of 2023.

In the call, Frank detailed the progress that’s already occurred at the new state-of-the-art poultry facility.

“We just had our six-month operations review at the London plant a couple of weeks ago, and I was super excited by what I heard and what I saw,” Frank said. “In the first six months of start-up, we have derisked our onboarding schedule and over the coming months, our focus will pivot to improving our operational efficiencies as we complete the full transition of capacity and people to the plant.”

He added that Maple Leaf was already processing around 250,000 birds per day in London, which puts the company at a 75% processing capacity.

The plant has approximately 1,300 people on site with the 1,600 people expected to be there when fully staffed.

With the new facility, Maple Leaf Foods stated that its fully transitioned and closed two legacy plants in St. Mary’s and Toronto, Ontario, with two more on the way. The company said that the Brampton plant transition is more than halfway complete. The capacity at the Schomberg, Ontario, plant will be taken over by London during the fourth quarter of this year.

“The other thing that I noted when I was there the other day is just having the strength of leadership on the plant floor that has transitioned from other facilities also helps to mitigate some of the start-up risk as well,” Frank said of the London facility.

Frank said about 350-400 employees transferred to the London plant from existing facilities.

He also said that Maple Leaf intended to hire about 200-300 people through the temporary foreign recruitment program, but it appears to be closer to around 50 people currently.