Toronto-based Maple Leaf Foods Inc. has announced that it will close its Berwick, N.S. prepared meats facility by April 2011.
The 200,000-sq.-ft. Berwick plant produces bacon, ham, sliced meats, sausage and deli products mainly under the Larsen brand, as well as other private label pork products. The company will continue to produce Larsen products at other prepared meat facilities in New Brunswick and Ontario.
"Our industry is under mounting competitive pressure to become more efficient, and this means we have to make very difficult decisions," said Maple Leaf CEO Michael McCain. "We are initiating discussions with all levels of government and we will work diligently with all parties to find potential alternate uses for the plant that leverage the skilled workforce and provide ongoing employment opportunities in the region."
Maple Leaf says it will begin to wind down production at the facility in February 2011. It estimates that the cost of closing the plant, including severance, decommissioning and asset writedowns, will be about $17 million. Approximately 280 jobs will be lost due to the closure.