Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Maple Leaf reports progress

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. released its annual report on a list of measures apart from efficiency and profit – eg. animal welfare, reducing carbon emissions and improving employee safety and mental health.

“Producing food took on an even deeper meaning as our disrupted nation needed nourishment,’ said president and chief executive officer Michael McCain.

“Never have I been more grateful that Maple Leaf Foods has a robust and mature sustainability program in place focused on delivering Better Food, Better Care, Better Communities and a Better Planet,” he said. 

“Together, these sustainability commitments have been like a compass guiding us in our response to 2020’s remarkable events, keeping us focused on the vision and values that make us Maple Leaf Foods.”


In 2020, the company expanded its Raised Without Antibiotics (RWA) Greenfield portfolio to include Family Lunch Kits, introduced the Prime® Organic brand and launched filler-free Maple Leaf® Natural Top Dogs, taking a leadership stance in the real food movement.

The company repositioned its Lightlife® Foods brand as a clean, nourishing choice, and its Field Roast® Grain Meat Co. brand as a bold, flavour-forward, meat alternative for consumers looking to diversify their protein intake. 

In 2020, the company exceeded its performance targets in both its Food Safety Incident Rate (by 41 per cent) and its Quality Incident Rate (by 63 per cent).

By the end of 2020, the company transitioned 87 per cent of its sow spaces to its Advanced Open Sow Housing system and installed environmental enrichments such as non-destructible toys in all Advanced Open Sow Housing sow, nursery, and growing pig barns. 

The company also added five climate-controlled poultry trailers to its Alberta fleet, and introduced SafeFlight real-time poultry digital trailer environmental monitoring across its Alberta operations and expanded implementation in its Ontario operations. 

To monitor and continuously improve care provided to animals, the company implemented Remote Video Auditing (RVA) in 100 per cent of its hatcheries and processing plants.


By the end of 2020, the company had reduced the intensity of its environmental footprint by 25.9 per cent for electricity, by 19.5 per cent for natural gas, by 21.6 per cent for water, by 12.1 per cent for solid waste and 30.9 per cent for food loss waste. 

Some of those reductions were annual and some as over five years.

It also diverted 91.6 per cent of waste that would ordinarily go to landfills.

In 2020, Maple Leaf Foods conducted the #ApartTogether campaign, generating almost $600,000 in donations in support of the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security, donated more than $2 million to support emergency food access and contributed more than $2.5 million of healthful products to organizations that support those in need, a 67 per cent increase from 2019.

Maple Leaf Foods became part of the first Sustainability-Linked Loan in Canada, a partnership with nine global banks where the company will benefit from lower interest rates upon achievement of certain sustainability targets and maintaining its carbon neutral status.