In June of this year it was announced that Maple Leaf Foods would acquire two Cericola Farms poultry plants, one in Drummondville, Quebec and the other in Bradford, Ontario. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed, however it was recently announced the purchase has been closed.
At the time news reports broke in the summer, Maple Leaf would also have the option to purchase the Schomberg, Ontario primary processing plant owned by Cericola within three years as part of the deal.
News reports indicate the Bradford and Drummondville poultry plants process over 70 million pounds of chicken on a yearly basis, or 32 million kilograms. Chicken is the most rapidly growing meat protein segment in North America, as well as the most consumed.
Cericola Farms’ specialty is air-chilled processing of chicken that is animal by-product and antibiotic free, along with other organic poultry products. In acquiring Cericola, Maple Leaf Foods will be able to advance the company’s leadership in higher value categories with value-added processing capability and increased supply. Reports state the company has moved the majority of its Maple Leaf Prime chicken brand to Prime RWA (Raised without Antibiotics). Maple Leaf Prime is raised on Canadian farms; in Canada, the chicken/poultry market is growing at approximately 25% on an annual basis.
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