Government of Canada invests in state-of-the-art poultry facility in Ontario

News release

Investment will help create jobs and make Canada's poultry processing industry more competitive

November 26, 2018 — London, Ontario

Thanks to the hard work of Canadians, Canada's economy is strong and growing, creating good jobs for the middle class and the people working hard to join it. At the same time, there is an opportunity to do more and to create more jobs across the country by encouraging businesses to make investments that will position them for long-term growth.

Today, the Honorable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced a $28-million investment in Maple Leaf Foods, a leading Canadian producer of packaged meats.

The funding will go toward Maple Leaf Foods' $660-million capital investment in a new state-of-the-art, environmentally leading facility in London, Ontario. It will feature the latest advanced technologies to improve productivity, animal welfare, and the environmental sustainability of poultry production. This is part of an overall project cost of $744 million, which includes additional start-up and adjustment costs. Maple Leaf Foods will maintain and protect well-paying middle-class jobs and provide skills upgrading for the increase in automation. The new facility will create 300 immediate construction jobs and will employ 1,340 full time employees by 2023.

To further strengthen the Canadian agri-food sector, Maple Leaf Foods will spend an additional $5 million in activities that accelerate the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies and reduce their environmental footprint by 50 percent.

As part of the Innovation and Skills Plan, these commitments support the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table's aim to scale up capacity and boost productivity by investing in innovation, increasing market access, and adopting automation and digitization. Maple Leaf will also invest more in R&D for new product development and will increase its collaboration with post-secondary institutions to identify secondary uses for inedible by-products that would otherwise be diverted to landfill.


"Our government is excited to invest in Maple Leaf Foods' project to help bring new innovations to Canada's food processing industry, keep Canada competitive in the global market and create new middle-class jobs in Ontario. This new state-of-the-art facility demonstrates how innovation is creating jobs and helping the environment with more sustainable poultry processing."
— The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"Canada's agri-food industry is a key driver of innovation and well-paying jobs across the country. Our government is proud to invest in Maple Leaf Foods, helping to position Canada as a globally competitive player in the food processing sector and to increase the competitiveness and sustainability of our agricultural sector."
— The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"This world-class facility will enable Maple Leaf to meet the steadily growing consumer demand for premium, value-added poultry products and to strengthen Canada's food system. It will incorporate leading-edge food safety, environmental and animal care technologies that advance our vision to be the global leader in sustainable protein. This is a historic investment in the Canadian poultry sector, providing significant stakeholder and economic benefits and ensuring that Canada has sufficient domestic processing capacity to meet forecasted poultry production and demand."
— Michael H. McCain, President and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods

Quick facts

  • The $28-million investment from the Government of Canada includes $20 million from the Strategic Innovation Fund and up to $8 million from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership's AgriInnovate Program.

  • Established in 1991, Maple Leaf Foods is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, and employs more than 11,000 people across Canada. The company exports to more than 20 global markets, including the United States and Asia.

  • Maple Leaf Foods' project will merge and replace three of the company's smaller facilities in Toronto, Brampton and St. Marys, Ontario, that are not viable options for modernization.

  • In 2016 the agri-food industry contributed $49.4 billion to Canada's GDP and employed approximately 575,800 people.

  • The Strategic Innovation Fund is a program that is helping Canada become a global leader in innovation. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership's AgriInnovate Program supports projects that accelerate the commercialization, adoption and/or demonstration of innovative products, technologies and practices that increase agri-sector competitiveness and sustainability.

  • In addition to the Strategic Innovation Fund, there are hundreds of programs and services to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada's economy. With its simple, story-based user interface, the Innovation Canada platform can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.

Associated links


Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA

Follow Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on social media:
Twitter: @AAFC_Canada
Facebook: CanadianAgriculture

Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Katie Hawkins
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Page details

Date modified: