Maple Leaf to close Winnipeg pork plant

Maple Leaf Foods, Canada's largest food processor, plans to close a Winnipeg pork-processing plant which employs about 145 workers as the company sheds underperforming assets.

The plant, processing 15,000 to 20,000 swine a week, will start closing in early September, Maple Leaf Foods said.

The plant will be shut by 26 October and some workers will be given the opportunity to take jobs at other facilities, the company said.

Maple Leaf sought to cut operating costs by closing a poultry plant in Nova Scotia and a meat-processing plant near Toronto during the past year.

In May, the company sold its animal nutrition unit to Dutch feed company Nutreco for US$478 million to focus on its meat and meals business.

Maple Leaf will consolidate pork-processing in Brandon, Manitoba, where it will start a second shift and boost employment to 2,800.