Maple Leaf Foods will build a 640,000 square foot, $660 million poultry processing facility in London, Ontario.
The company says the plant will be one of the most technologically advanced of its kind anywhere in the world and will initially employ 1,450 full- and part-time workers. Maple Leaf will commence construction at its 100-acre site next spring and expects the plant to be up and running in 2021. Construction will also generate about 300 jobs.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that the province will contribute $34.5 million toward the facility. Speaking in London, Ford said that the investment is “not only the largest investment in the poultry industry, but the largest investment in food-processing ever in Canada.” Ottawa is also contributing $20 million.
"This world-class facility will enable Maple Leaf to meet the steadily growing consumer demand for premium, value-added poultry products, and strengthen Canada's food system," said Michael H. McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods.
Maple Leaf recently announced the closure of three plants in Ontario – in Toronto, Brampton and St. Marys. The Toronto plant employs 600 United Food and Commercial workers.
Ontario is the third largest food and beverage sector employer in Canada and the US, generating around $40 billion in sales annually.