MISSISSAUGA, ON – Today, Maple Leaf Foods, Inc., (TSX: MFI) announced the release of its 2019 Sustainability Report, outlining the company’s key programs and achievements during the past year, as well as future initiatives and priorities supporting Maple Leaf Foods’ purposeful journey to be the most sustainable protein company on earth.
In 2019, Maple Leaf Foods continued its commitment to sustainability and made meaningful progress, including becoming the first major carbon neutral food company in the world and setting science-based greenhouse gas emissions targets. Maple Leaf Foods’ commitment to the environment comes from a recognition that producing nutrient-dense protein takes resources, and the company has a responsibility to replenish the environment in equal measure.
“At Maple Leaf Foods, we are continually working toward more sustainable food production and a more sustainable food system, including addressing the significant environmental and social challenges facing society,” said Michael McCain, President and CEO. “This view of shared value is critical to a sustainable planet and a sustainable, thriving company. We are committed to being that kind of company in our quest to be the most sustainable protein company on earth.”
Maple Leaf Foods’ sustainability program is built on four guiding pillars – Better Food, Better Care, Better Communities and Better Planet. Highlights from the 2019 report include:
Maple Leaf Foods believes “you manage what you measure” and when it comes to food safety and quality, the company has an intense focus on measuring its performance. In 2019, Maple Leaf Foods exceeded its performance goals in both its Food Safety Incident Rate (by 53%) and its Quality Incident Rate (by 15%) These results reflect dedication and commitment to our Food Safety Promise from our manufacturing facilities
Maple Leaf Foods’ values extend to how the company treats animals it raises or sources. By the end of 2019, Maple Leaf Foods had transitioned approximately 50,000 sows (77%) to an advanced open housing system and installed enrichment and toys in 90% of its nursery and growing pig barns. Training is also a critical part of building a strong animal care culture. In 2019, Maple Leaf Foods developed an animal care certification program for its employees and by the end of 2019 all employees who handle live animals had completed the Animal Care training module.
In 2019, Maple Leaf Foods continued its long-term commitment to advancing sustainable food security and supporting the 4.4 million Canadians (12%) that face food insecurity. By the end of 2019, Maple Leaf Foods contributed more than $2.3 million to initiatives working to advance food security and donated more than $1.6 million of healthy food products to organizations that reach those in need.
The Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security, a registered charity governed by an independent Board of Directors, made investments in three new projects in 2019 – including two national programs and one across the territories and northern Canada – in support of its goal to reduce food insecurity in Canada by 50% by 2030.
Leading in sustainability is a company-wide initiative that encompasses every aspect of Maple Leaf Foods’ business. In 2019, Maple Leaf Foods became the World’s First Carbon Neutral Food Company by aggressively reducing greenhouse gas emissions and investing in high-impact environmental projects to offset emissions that could not be reduced. The company is also the only food company in Canada to set science-based targets to reduce emissions in alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. These targets require that Maple Leaf Foods continue to reduce its emissions as the company grows and will help identify opportunities to meet the company’s ambitious goal of reducing its environmental footprint by 50% by 2025.
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About Maple Leaf Foods
Maple Leaf Foods is a producer of food products under leading brands including Maple Leaf®, Maple Leaf Prime®, Maple Leaf Natural Selections®, Schneider’s®, Schneiders® Country Naturals®, Mina®, Greenfield Natural Meat Co.®, Lightlife®, Field Roast Grain Meat Co.TM and Swift®. Maple Leaf employs approximately 13,000 people and does business in Canada, the U.S. and Asia. The Company is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario and its shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MFI).