Maple Leaf Sustainability ReportMaple Leaf Sustainability Report

Maple Leaf’s Core Sustainability Pillars


Maple Leaf Foods is Canada’s leading consumer packaged meats company, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. We make high-quality, great tasting, nutritious and innovative food products under leading brands including Maple Leaf®, Maple Leaf Prime®, Maple Leaf Natural Selections®, Schneiders®, Schneiders Country Naturals® and Mina™. Our Company employs approximately 11,500 people in its operations across Canada and exports to more than 20 global markets including the U.S. and Asia.

About This Report

Maple Leaf Foods published our first sustainability report in April 2013. This second report, which covers our activities during the fiscal and calendar year 2013, demonstrates the importance our Company places on sustainability initiatives and our commitment to transparency and continuous improvement in our social, economic and environmental performance. This report complements the operating and financial information in our 2013 annual report, where we provide more detailed information on our operating and financial results. It is our intention to publish an annual sustainability report and provide ongoing updates and additions that augment our disclosure.

In 2013, Maple Leaf completed or announced agreements to divest of a number of businesses. We closed the sales of Rothsay, our rendering business, in October 2013; Olivieri®, our fresh pasta and sauce business, in November 2013; and our turkey production business, in July 2013. In the fall of 2013, the Company announced that it was pursuing value creation alternatives for its Bakery business. This culminated in an agreement to sell the Company’s 90% ownership of Canada Bread Company, Ltd. to Grupo Bimbo, S.A.B. de C.V., which was concluded in May 2014. Some of the data contained in this report includes these operations, as they were owned by Maple Leaf for part or all of the year. Except where noted, this report does not cover suppliers of products, ingredients or services, temporary employees, joint ventures or leased facilities. The information was collected as part of our business operations and verified by functional leaders to ensure that this report fairly represents our sustainability activities, strategies, policies, programs and initiatives.

Report Content

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has become the worldwide standard for sustainability reporting. We used the GRI G3.1 Guidelines, the GRI Food Processing Sector Supplement, industry best practices and the results of our stakeholder engagement survey to guide the structure of this report. To inform the content, we applied the GRI’s sustainability reporting principles and its growing emphasis on materiality by considering the results of our survey, which helped us in determining those topics of most importance to our stakeholders, while focusing on those areas where we believe we can have the greatest impact. It is our intention to broaden this reporting as we continue to enhance our database and further develop and report results against concrete benchmarks and goals. Maple Leaf self-declares this report to GRI (3.1) Application Level C.

Sustainability Management Structure

Sustainability at Maple Leaf Foods is a collaborative, cross-functional effort. Guiding our program are leaders representing relevant areas of the Company including environmental affairs, food safety and quality assurance, government and industry affairs, human resources, marketing, strategy and corporate communications. In 2014, Maple Leaf is establishing an executive position to lead the development of a comprehensive sustainability program and structure, working collaboratively to ingrain these principles and goals across the Company’s operations, ensuring sustainability is embedded into our decision-making, investments and how we conduct our businesses.

This report has not been externally assured. We plan to seek assurance when our sustainability program and reporting is more mature.

Our Sustainability Milestones and Priorities

thumb-econEconomic Responsibility

  • Commissioned our new Eastern Canada Distribution Centre (DC) in Ontario; transferred operations from 14 smaller DCs and third-party warehouse relationships
  • Began commissioning three plant expansions in Winnipeg, MB; Saskatoon, SK; and Brampton, ON; constructed our world-class prepared meats facility in Hamilton, ON; closed our prepared meats plant in North Battleford, SK
  • Completed our $90 million SAP implementation
  • Completed 90% of our product complexity reduction project in our prepared meats product portfolio, eliminating 800 SKUs and reducing manufacturing complexity, resulting in more efficient production scheduling, fewer changeovers, increased capacity, increased food safety and less waste

thumb-socialSocial Responsibility

  • Converted our first barn from gestation crates to open housing
  • Introduced “See It? Stop It!”, a program to encourage employee involvement to advance animal care
  • Increased the number of PAACO-certified employees in our poultry operations to eight in 2013
  • Supported communities with more than $1.2M in gift-in-kind and monetary donations
  • Established a lead partnership with “Food for Thought”, the largest school nutrition program in Brandon, MB

thumb-enviroEnvironmental Responsibility

  • Established a long-term environmental sustainability strategy with aggressive near- (2018) and longer-term (2030) goals
  • Implemented a sustainability goal of launching two packaging initiatives a year, improving or reducing packaging
  • Removed 12 million foam polystyrene trays from circulation
  • Reduced our annual usage of metal by 363 metric tonnes by switching our canned meat flakes products from steel to aluminum cans

thumb-consumerConsumer Responsibility

  • Expanded our Naturals product line to more than 80 products
  • Continued to reduce sodium in our prepared meats products to meet Health Canada’s voluntary 2016 guidelines for sodium
  • Founding member of the Healthy Grains Institute, supporting a spectrum of consumer education initiatives
  • Established a standard food safety and quality performance tracking system for all Maple Leaf suppliers

thumb-peopleOur People

  • Launched a High-Performing People System at our world-class prepared meats facility in Hamilton, ON
  • Launched online and peer mentoring solutions for employee development
  • Launched a pilot project at three plants to reward employees for achieving production targets and/or reducing errors or waste
  • Developed a comprehensive OHS strategy, which was piloted in 11 plants and rolled out across Maple Leaf

thumb-econEconomic Responsibility

  • Complete commissioning of Hamilton, ON prepared meats facility; transition all production of wieners and sliced meats
  • Ramp up to full yield and efficiency in our Saskatoon, SK cooked sausage facility and Winnipeg, MB bacon facility
  • Realize the optimization benefits from the real-time integrated SAP operating platform
  • Close legacy plants in Hamilton, ON; Moncton, NB; Weston, ON; Panet Road, Winnipeg, MB; and Kitchener, ON
  • Complete prepared meats transformation and remaining Project Simplify initiatives

thumb-socialSocial Responsibility

  • Convert two large sites with 6,000 gestation crate systems to open housing
  • Expand the “See It? Stop It!” program to our poultry and processing operations
  • Establish executive leadership and hire an animal welfare expert to lead the establishment of a best practice program
  • Review our philanthropy strategy with the goal to step-change the impact of our programs and engagement of our people
  • Play a lead role in a school nutrition pilot project in Hamilton, ON

thumb-enviroEnvironmental Responsibility

  • Launch our environmental sustainability strategy, with dedicated leadership and resource support
  • Replace the foam trays used to package poultry portions with trays made of recyclable plastic
  • Optimized our packaging to maximize the number of products being transported on each truck
  • Follow rigorous decommissioning process to close our legacy facilities and mitigate any environmental impact

thumb-consumerConsumer Responsibility

  • Launch 15 new Naturals products to meet consumers’ growing demand
  • Further reduce sodium in our prepared meats products to meet Health Canada’s voluntary 2016 guidelines for sodium
  • Provide science-based research and information to consumers about the benefits of protein
  • Refresh our Food Safety Scorecard to nurture and sustain an industry-leading Food Safety culture

thumb-peopleOur People

  • Support the Canada Bread sale by seamlessly transitioning people, processes and employee programs
  • Right-size Maple Leaf’s organizational structure to an effective, integrated, consumer packaged meats business
  • Redefine and reinvigorate our People strategy to build talent that supports Maple Leaf Foods as a focused, consumer packaged meats company