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The following terms are used throughout the website, our annual reports and investor information.

Industry TermsTerms Specific to
Maple Leaf Foods
AgribusinessMeat and Bone MealLeadership Edge
Avian influenza (AI)Modified Atmosphere PackagingMeat Products Group
BSEPrebioticsProtein Value Chain
CFIAModified Atmosphere PackagingFroBake
BSEPar-BakeLeadership Edge
CFIAPrimal CutThinkFOOD!™ Centre
Chilled MealsPrimary ProcessingValue-Added
FarrowRetail40 Steps to Food Safety
FDASix Sigma
Feeder PigSow
Finishing BarnSupply Management (Poultry)
FoodserviceVertical Integration
Fresh Meats
Packaged Meats
Home Meal Replacement (HMR)

Industry Terms

Agribusiness : The sector that includes industries involving all aspects of food production, from grain and livestock production to consumer goods.

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.

CFIA : The Canadian Federal Inspection Agency is the federal government agency that regulates animal and food safety.

Chilled Meals : A category of convenient Home Meal Replacement (HMR), or meal solutions, which is sold fresh, not frozen, in the refrigerated section of grocery stores.

Farrow : The term used to describe a sow giving birth.

FDA : The Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. federal agency that regulates animal and food safety.

Feeder Pig : Piglet after it is weaned from the sow, also known as a 'weaner' pig, until it reaches about 25 kg live weight.

Finishing Barn : The final stage of the market hog production cycle.

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)

Foodservice : The industry sector that includes the preparation and distribution of food to or within restaurants, institutions, hotels, etc., that offer prepared meals to the public.

Fresh Meats : Includes the Company’s fresh pork and poultry products that are sold either in bulk or individually packaged for retail customers.

Packaged Meats: Includes valued-added packaged cooked, canned, ready-to-serve or frozen packaged meat products.

HACCP : Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems is the industry standard for development and adherence to leading food safety practices.

Home Meal Replacement (HMR) : The food marketing category, also called meal solutions, which supplies ready-to-eat take-home meals through the grocery and convenience store channels. 

Meat and Bone Meal : The products produced from the rendering of animal by-products for agricultural or commercial applications.

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.

Primal Cut : The first stage of processing a pork carcass resulting in six primal, or commodity cuts.

Primary Processing : Processing that includes kill, cut and value-added fresh meat operations.

Retail : industry sector that sells goods directly to consumers.

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 .

Sow : Adult female pig.

Supply Management (Poultry) : The marketing system in Canada where poultry producers control the production and allocation of live chicken quotas as regulated by provincial marketing boards.  

Traceability : The ability to track any product to another step in the value chain.

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.

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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.)

Protein Value Chain : The integration of Maple Leaf’s hog production, meat processing and rendering operations to maximize value at all stages in the supply chain. 

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.

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For business overviews of Maple Leaf’s Independent Operating Companies, please refer to the Investor Fact Sheet page.