Canadian fully integrated food processing company Grand River Foods has announced the sale of its fresh poultry processing division to Maple Lodge Farms. The completion date of the sale agreement is scheduled for December 1, 2011. Financial terms have not been disclosed.
Maple Lodge Farms, headquartered in Brampton Ontario, is Canada’s largest independent, family-owned chicken processor with primary processing operations in Brampton and St. Francois, New Brunswick, further processing operations in Mississauga and fully cooked operations in Brampton and Etobicoke, Ontario respectively. It is currently partnering with Nova Scotia and P.E.I. growers to build a new primary processing operation in Berwick, Nova Scotia. Other Ontario operations include hatcheries, feed mills and a product safety laboratory.
The sale of Grand River Foods’ fresh poultry processing division to Maple Lodge Farms further focuses each company’s operations on their respective strengths in prepared food production and primary processing while reaffirming both companies’ commitment to Ontario’s food processing industry. Grand River Foods will now concentrate resources on its fast-growing foods division, serving customers in the grocery and food service sectors. Maple Lodge Farms is expected to scale up its primary processing operations to more effectively serve its customer base in the retail, foodservice, further processed and other market sectors.
“We remain committed to Ontario’s food processing industry,” stated Craig Richardson, President of Grand River Foods. “Our intention is to reinvest in our operations, funding growth and development of our ready-to-eat, prepared foods division, which produces over 200 chicken protein products for the North American foodservice and retail segments.” The terms of the sale agreement also provide for Grand River Foods’ purchase of fresh, processed chicken from Maple Lodge Farms for food product production.
The Chicken Farmers of Ontario has recently provided regulatory approval for the transfer, which includes conditions to benefit Ontario growers who were previously shipping their chicken to the Grand River Foods processing facility. “It was very important to us that the processing business remain in Ontario,” Richardson continued. “We have every confidence that a respected company like Maple Lodge Farms will conduct business in a similar manner, honouring the relationships and contractual obligations with our valued growers.”
“This acquisition is consistent with our long term plans and reaffirms our commitment to the chicken processing industry in Ontario,” said Michael Burrows, Chief Executive Officer of Maple Lodge Farms. “With Grand River Foods’ fresh poultry processing division we continue to build on our founding family’s legacy of quality and innovation in primary and further processing. We welcome their growers and suppliers to the Maple Lodge Farms family.”