Canadian Manufacturing

Canada Bread to shutter Que. snack cake plant; 74 workers affected

Shawinigan, Que., plant, which produces snack cakes, slated for closure May 3

TORONTO—Just months after announcing the closing of a pair of bakeries in New Brunswick and Alberta, Canada Bread Company says it plans to close another one of its operations, this time in Quebec.

Canada Bread, which is 90 per cent owned by Maple Leaf Foods, says it plans to close its Shawinigan, Que., plant as of May 3 of this year.

It says 74 employees will be affected by the closure of the plant about 100 kilometres west of Quebec City, which produces snack cakes under the Chevalier, Cadbury and Obsession brands.

“We have experienced a significant decline in consumer demand for snack cakes in recent years,” Canada Bread president and CEO Richard Lan said in a statement about the closure.

According to Lan, the company is planning “a strategic review to identify category expansion opportunities,” which could see the facility used for other manufacturing requirements down the road.

Decommissioning and asset write-downs associated with the closure are expected to amount to approximately $3.1-million before tax, $1.6-million of which represents cash expenses.

The decision comes following a Jan. 30 announcement that facilities in Grand Falls, N.B., and Edmonton would suffer the same fate.

The Edmonton facility, which closed March 30, saw its production shift to other facilities.

46 people were affected.

The Grand Falls facility, located on the Maine border, is slated for closure June 28.

According to the company, production of the cakes and sweets at the plant will be discontinued.

75 employees will be affected by the closure.

The Company had sales of $1.6-billion in 2012.

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