Maple Leaf Foods Launches Formal Process to Sell its Burlington, Ontario Primary Pork Processing Business



    TSX: MFI
    www.mapleleaf.com

    TORONTO, July 22 /CNW/ - Maple Leaf Foods (MFI: TSX) today announced that
it has begun the formal process of selling its Ontario pork processing
business located in Burlington, Ontario. The process will entail a
solicitation of interest from potential purchasers, commencing immediately.
The Company anticipates that the sale process will be completed by the end of
2008.
    "Our Burlington, Ontario business is well established, with long-standing
customer relationships, a skilled and stable workforce and an excellent mix of
value-added business," said Michael Vels, Chief Financial Officer of Maple
Leaf Foods. "It operates one of the more efficient pork processing plants in
North America, strategically located close to high density markets. Our
investments in the plant and our people have resulted in a profitable business
that represents an excellent investment in the global pork processing
industry."
    The 365,000 square foot Burlington facility has a processing capacity of
up to 50,000 hogs per week, is located in close proximity to major domestic
and U.S. markets, transportation routes and a skilled labour pool, and is
licensed to export its pork products to nearly 50 countries worldwide. Maple
Leaf has invested significant capital in this location over the past decade to
develop a very extensive value-added business serving well-established
domestic and international customers.
    The decision to sell this business results from a re-focusing of Maple
Leaf's protein operations towards prepared meats, meals and bakery, involving
divestiture or exit of several of its primary processing and agriculturally
oriented businesses.

    Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading Canadian food processing company
committed to delivering quality food products to consumers around the world.
Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the Company employs approximately 23,000
people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, Europe and
Asia. The Company had sales of $5.2 billion in 2007.

    
                          Maple Leaf Consumer Foods
                     Burlington Pork Processing Facility

    Facility Overview

    -   A highly profitable operation, with a committed and skilled work
        force, and a very extensive value-added business serving well-
        established domestic and international customers.

    -   The 365,000 square foot pork processing facility is the largest in
        Ontario (third largest in Canada), and has a processing capacity of
        up to 50,000 hogs per week.

    -   The plant is strategically located on a 15-acre parcel of land in a
        large industrial park in Burlington, Ontario, within close proximity
        to domestic and U.S. markets, transportation routes and a deep labour
        pool.

    -   The facility is federally inspected by the Canadian Food Inspection
        Agency and is licensed to export its products to nearly 50 countries
        worldwide, including the United States, Japan, China and Russia.

    Key Features

    -   A highly advantageous location being in close proximity to densely
        populated markets and major transportation links - it has immediate
        access to major highways and has a market of 75 million people living
        within an eight hour drive of the plant.

    -   A highly skilled, engaged and dedicated workforce of 1,200 employees,
        the majority of whom live within 15 kilometers of the facility.

    -   The plant is profitable and highly efficient, approaching par in
        operating efficiencies when compared to the top eight U.S. facilities
        (as determined by Agrimetrics).

    -   Currently processing an average of 42,000 hogs per week, Burlington
        is a high throughput facility, with the capacity and resources to
        process up to 50,000 hogs per week, providing excellent flexibility
        to optimize returns. Slaughter volume was 2.2M hogs in 2007 and
        volumes are expected to be consistent with this level in 2008.

    -   Significant capital has been invested in the best available
        technology and practices in all areas of the plant since it was
        purchased in 1991, continuously improving the effectiveness and
        efficiency of the processing operations, including enhancements to
        the barn, cutting room, chilled and freezer capacity, refrigeration
        and security systems.

    -   Burlington has an exemplary compliance record in environmental, food
        safety and health and safety performance.
    





For further information:

For further information: Michael Vels, Chief Financial Officer, Maple
Leaf Foods Inc., (416) 926-2048


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