Maple Leaf Foods has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase two poultry plants and associated supply from Cericola Farms.
Cericola specializes in air-chilled processing of antibiotic free and animal by-product free ("AABF") and organic poultry products. The two acquired plants are located in Ontario and Quebec and collectively process about 32 M kg of chicken a year.
Maple Leaf has also entered into an agreement to secure all the processed chicken volume from Cericola's primary processing plant in Schomberg, Ontario, and holds an option to acquire this asset and associated plant supply in three years.
The acquisition gives Maple Leaf additional supply and value-added processing capability to further develop its higher value categories. Maple Leaf has transitioned most of its flagship Maple Leaf Prime chicken brand to Prime RWA, where the Canadian market is growing at approximately 25 per cent annually. Chicken is the most consumed and fastest growing meat protein segment in North America.