Maple Leaf Foods has entered into definitive agreements to sell the company's commercial turkey farms to Ernald Enterprises and its breeder farms and hatchery operation to Cuddy Farms, Maple Leaf Foods announced on July 22. The transactions are expected to close by the end of July.

Maple Leaf's turkey growing operations employ more than 100 employees in southern Ontario. They include a hatchery and six breeder turkey farms that supply turkey eggs and turkey poults to domestic and international markets and six commercial farms that supply market-ready live birds to Maple Leaf's turkey processing facility in Thamesford, Ont. The terms of the transaction include a long-term supply of live birds to Maple Leaf from Ernald Enterprises. Most employees will transition to Ernald Enterprises and Cuddy Farms once the transactions close.

"Divesting our turkey growing operations will allow us to focus on, and direct capital to, growth and innovation in our valued-added turkey processing business," said Michael H. McCain, president and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods. "The transaction ensures a long-term supply of high quality turkeys at competitive prices. I'd like to thank our people who work in these operations for their dedication to our business. They are joining two organizations who are leaders in Canada's turkey growing industry."