Maple Leaf Foods to open new London plant, while 3 others to close
The company is consolidating its fresh poultry processing operations in London
Maple Leaf Foods has announced plans to build a $660-million fresh poultry facility south of Hwy. 401 in London, with doors set to open in 2021.
"This leading-edge facility will represent the largest single site investment ever in the Canadian food industry history," said Maple Leaf Foods President and CEO Michael McCain on Tuesday.
The new 640,00 square-foot facility will employ 1,450 people, but comes with job losses in three other Ontario centres.
Maple Leaf processing plants in Toronto, Brampton and Perth South, near the community of St. Marys, will close as the company consolidates operations.
"This 640,000 square foot facility will be the most efficient and technologically advanced of its kind anywhere in the world," he said.
McCain said that, on top of the $660 million investment, Maple Leaf has also pledged to spend another $5 million to accelerate adoption of advanced manufacturing technology and reduce the company's environmental footprint by 50 per cent.
"Our goal is to make this a zero-waste to landfill facility," he said.
Ford praises Liberals
Ontario Premier Doug Ford was among a number of dignitaries who were on hand to announce the operation that's been in the works for three years.
Ford told the crowd he was doing away with his notes and would ad lib his speech, in which he said the new London Maple Leaf plant would receive $34.5 million from the province and $28 million from Ottawa.
Remember, Doug Ford is telling the Liberals, good job.- Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
Ford also took the rare opportunity to congratulate his federal counterparts, who had been working on bringing Maple Leaf Foods to London for years, along with city officials and the former Liberal government of Ontario.
"Good job," he said. "Remember, Doug Ford is telling the Liberals, good job."
Ford also pledged to lower electricity rates by 12 per cent and remove the number of regulations on businesses in Ontario by 25 per cent.
"We have to be competitive," he said. "Regulations kill companies."