HAMILTON, Ont.—Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is getting a $5-million loan from the federal government as it looks to install new automated meat processing equipment at its new Hamilton, Ont., plant.
Announced by Pierre Lemieux, parliamentary secretary to Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, the loan from Ottawa is being issued under a federal agriculture innovation program that will help Maple Leaf buy a fully-automated meat processor.
The equipment “significantly improves food safety,” according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and includes features to help with product traceability.
Made by Armor Inox, the Thermix system will also help Maple Leaf improve the shelf life of its deli meat products.
The system is the first of its kind in Canada.
“We are building the most advanced prepared meats facility in North America,” Rick Young, executive vice-president of transformation with Maple Leaf Foods, said in a statement.
“The (loan from Ottawa) has helped us secure world-class technology that will improve our efficiency and support high skilled, knowledge-based jobs in Canada’s food industry.”
Maple Leaf Foods’s Hamilton plant will have the capacity to produce 82 million kilograms of deli products annually.