Maple Leaf Foods has announced that James P. Olson has been nominated to join the company's board of directors as an independent director and will stand for election at the company's annual general meeting on April 28, 2011.

Olson has over 35 years of experience in the food and beverage industry in North American and international markets. His accomplishments include evaluating and integrating acquisitions, supply chain optimization, business reorganization, manufacturing plant start-ups and labor relations. He has been a director of U.S. retailer Winn-Dixie Stores since 2007, where he serves on the Compensation and Nominating and Corporate Governance committees.

Maple Leaf Foods has 14 directors (including Olson), 11 of whom are considered independent as defined by securities regulations. Shareholders will vote on the slate of directors at the upcoming annual general meeting.