Maple Leaf Foods spending $28 million on Edmonton plant upgrades

Maple Leaf Foods (MLF) is spending $28 million to transitioning the company’s Edmonton poultry processing plant to a “world-class controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS) technology facility.”

The company plans to convert is transportation, receiving and holding area and handling systems to optimize rest time and create a climate-controlled environment as it implements the CAS technology, the company says in a news release.

Maple Leaf says they selected CAS because “it’s a very humane system that will ensure birds are fully put down prior to processing.”

The conversion will result in a 26,000-square foot expansion at the Edmonton facility, which is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

“We are on a journey to become the most sustainable protein company on earth, and being a leader in animal care is a cornerstone of this vision,” says Michael McCain, president and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods. “We are deploying world-class technologies and best practices that support our goal to eliminate stress and pain and provide humane treatment of animals in our care, while enhancing employee health and safety and food quality. With Canada’s leading poultry brands, we are advancing many dimensions of sustainability, from eliminating antibiotics, to best practices in animal care and dramatic reductions in our environmental footprint.”

Maple Leaf’s vice-president responsible for animal care calls CAS one of the best practises around the world where it is acknowledged as a top choice for animal euthanasia. Dr. Greg Douglas adds that this technology is also at Maple Leaf’s pork processing plant in Manitoba.

On top of CAS, the compnay plans to install remote video auditing (RVA). The company believes it’s a powerful training and auditing tool to support best practises of animal care. This is the ninth Maple Leaf facility to have RVA added.

Lastly, the funding also goes to support a second shift at the poultry plant to help keep pace with the growing demand.

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