Maple Leaf’s Hamilton wiener plant now closed

A wiener processing plant on Maple Leaf Foods’ list of six further-processing facilities tapped for closure in the company’s 2011 “value creation” plan has officially shut its doors.

The Toronto meat processing company on Thursday announced its plant on Brockley Road in Hamilton has closed and its production — plus 88 per cent of the shuttered plant’s 213 staff — has been shifted to the company’s new Heritage prepared meats plant in the same city.

The 402,000-square-foot Heritage plant, when fully operational, is to employ 670 people making Maple Leaf and Schneiders deli meats and wieners as the company heads into the “final phase” of its prepared-meats transformation.

“We have established world-class facilities and technologies to step-change our profitability and competitiveness,” CEO Michael McCain said in a release Thursday. “This year, the focus is on shifting production to these new facilities, closing legacy plants, and realizing related cost and productivity gains.”

Four more Maple Leaf plant closures were scheduled in 2011 to take place by the end of this year , including:

  • the company’s Courtland Avenue deli and luncheon meat and wiener plant in Kitchener;
  • the Hub/Larsen sliced meats plant on Edinburgh Drive in Moncton;
  • the former Shopsy’s sliced meats plant on Bartor Road in Toronto; and
  • the former Schneiders plant making Hot Rods meat sticks on Panet Road in Winnipeg.

“We are doing this in a way that is respectful of our people and provides them ongoing employment opportunities wherever possible,” McCain said Thursday.

Maple Leaf said Thursday the commissioning of Hamilton’s Heritage facility so far has been “successful and on schedule.”

The company said it’s now focused on transferring production from its four other soon-to-be-closed plants over the remainder of 2014 and “continuing to ramp up both wiener and sliced meats production at the new facility.”

The Heritage plant, Maple Leaf said, “will be among the largest and most technologically advantaged plants of its kind in North America.” — Network


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