The following terms are used throughout the website, our annual reports and investor information.
Avian influenza (AI) :Avian influenza is a contagious viral infection caused by the influenza virus Type "A", which can affect several species of food producing birds (chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, etc.), as well as pet birds and wild birds (as defined by the CFIA). Health Canada states “there is no evidence to suggest that the consumption of cooked poultry or eggs could transmit the avian flu to humans. All the evidence to date indicates that thorough cooking will kill the virus.”
BSE : Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is a fatal degenerative illness that affects the central nervous system of ruminants including cattle, elk, etc. It is part of a family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or TSEs, whose different forms affect different species of animals. The TSE in sheep is known as “scrapie” and the TSE in humans is Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease. “New variant CJD” is the occurrence of the bovine type BSE in humans.
FMD :Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious viral disease of cattle and swine. It also affects sheep, goats, deer and other cloven-hoofed ruminants. FMD is not a significant threat to human health. (As defined by the CFIA)
Modified Atmosphere Packaging : A technique used to prolong the shelf-life period of fresh or minimally processed foods, whereby the air surrounding the food in the package is converted to another composition so that the natural deterioration of perishable products like meat, fish, fruits and vegetables is slowed.
Prebiotics : Non-digestible food ingredients that have a beneficial effect through their selective metabolism in the intestinal tract, which helps good bacteria grow and flourish. Prebiotics mostly come from carbohydrate fibres called oligosaccharides. Sources of oligosaccharides include fruits, legumes, and whole grains.
Six Sigma : Maple Leaf Foods’ vehicle for bringing its Leadership Edge Values to life, including rigour, customer focus, fact-based decision making, and openness to continuous improvement. It encompasses all aspects and functions of the business through a common philosophy, methodologies, and broad set of tools that include change management, creative problem solving and project management. Learn more about Six Sigma at Maple Leaf Foods .
Vertical Integration : Control over all aspects of the value chain, including product development, manufacturing, and distribution. For Maple Leaf, vertical integration refers to the alignment of its hog production, meat processing and rendering operations, allowing for greater operational efficiencies.
Terms Specific to Maple Leaf Foods
Leadership Edge : Maple Leaf Foods’ significant focus on professional development programs and processes that supports the Company’s emphasis on attracting, retaining and developing world-class talent.
Meat Products Group : Includes Maple Leaf Consumer Foods operations (branded value-added prepared meat products; fresh, frozen and branded value-added pork products; fresh, frozen and branded value-added chicken and turkey products; and global sales.)
ThinkFOOD!™ centre : The new Maple Leaf Foods facility, which opened in early 2009 , will enhance product development, culinary knowledge and consumer insights across the Company's meat, meals and bakery businesses. The centre is home to many of the Company's experts in innovation and culinary strategy, and fosters collaborative product development across Maple Leaf Foods’ bakery and protein businesses.
Value-Added : The process of adding value to commodity type products through a combination of additional processing and customer service. In the Meat Products Group, it relates to the further processing of primal cuts into higher value meat products and meal solutions to meet customer specifications. In the Bakery Products Group, it includes the development of higher nutrition or premium quality fresh or frozen bread products.
40 Steps to Food Safety : Maple Leaf’s proprietary 40 Steps to Food Safety program is employed across the Company’s meat processing operations to attain the highest operational standards for food safety excellence. It encompasses all areas that touch on food safety, from the purchase of raw materials to processing, packaging and distribution. The program is audited annually by an independent third party, to monitor and ensure continuous improvement.