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Press release from CNW Group

MAPLE LEAF FOODS REACHES AGREEMENT TO SELL ITS BERWICK, NOVA SCOTIA FACILITY TO NEW POULTRY PROCESSING COMPANY

Friday, April 01, 2011

MAPLE LEAF FOODS REACHES AGREEMENT TO SELL ITS BERWICK, NOVA SCOTIA FACILITY TO NEW POULTRY PROCESSING COMPANY07:00 EDT Friday, April 01, 2011TSX: MFIBERWICK, NS, April 1 /CNW/ - Maple Leaf Foods (TSX : MFI) announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell the assets of its facility located in Berwick, Nova Scotia to Eden Valley Poultry, a new poultry processing company made up of United Poultry Producers Incorporated and Maple Lodge Holding Corporation. The transaction is expected to close May 13, 2011."We are very pleased to have reached this agreement that will result in the plant being converted into a new poultry primary processing facility," said Rick Young, Executive Vice-President, Transformation, Maple Leaf Consumer Foods. "This is a very positive outcome which will bring new opportunities for people currently employed at Berwick and the community of King's County. It also fulfils the commitment we made last November to find an alternate use for the plant that would leverage the benefits of the existing facility."Maple Leaf announced the closure of its prepared meats plant in Berwick on November 17, 2010 which will cease production on April 29, 2011. Immediately upon the successful closure of the transaction, Eden Valley Poultry will immediately begin decommissioning the facility with construction and retrofitting to commence as soon as possible. It is estimated the new facility will be operational by early summer 2012.The new poultry processing facility will process over 40 million kilograms of poultry annually and is expected to be operational by the summer of 2012. When it opens, the new facility will employ approximately 200 people.Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading Canadian food processing company headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 21,000 people at its operations across Canada and in the United States, Europe and Asia. The Company had sales of $5.0 billion in 2011.Eden Valley Poultry (3246964 NS Limited) has two shareholders, United Poultry Producers Incorporated (UPPI) representing the poultry producers in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island who invested in UPPI, and Maple Lodge Holding Corporation, the largest privately owned poultry processing company in Canada.For further information: Maple Leaf Foods, Media Hotline: 416-926-2020