TORONTO – Maple Leaf Foods announced plans to reduce the company’s salaried workforce by 400 before the end of 2015 with additional cuts in 2016. The company made the decision following a “comprehensive review.” Maple Leaf currently employs approximately 12,000 workers across Canada.

The company believes the job cuts will further streamline the organization, establish a more competitive cost structure and support growth. Nearing the end of its major restructuring initiative, Maple Leaf is looking to extract additional savings.

“We have significant opportunity to use our scale and cost efficiency as a source of competitive advantage,” the company said in a statement. “As we complete our network transformation, we are now able to address the additional resources that managing years of change required and place greater rigor on building a cost culture. Our goal is to minimize the cost of running the business so we can focus our investments and future job creation on growing the business.”

Maple Leaf Foods has been restructuring and streamlining its processing operations since 2008. The company closed legacy plants while building new facilities at the same time. Maple Leaf also consolidated 17 of its distribution centers into two and built a 400,000-sq.-ft. processing plant. The strategic plan has cost the company $1 billion.

The plan is beginning to show results: The company reported third-quarter net earnings of C$18.7 million ($14.13 million), or C$.13 (10 cents) per share compared to a net loss of C$26.8 million ($20.26 million), or C$.19 (14 cents) per share a year ago.

“Maple Leaf is in an enviable position,” Michael H. McCain, president and CEO, said in a statement. “The ramp up of our new world-class supply chain is nearing completion; we have a portfolio of market-leading products and brands, leadership in innovation and an accomplished team of people who deliver strategic value to our customers.

“We are committed to building a more sustainable company as a core growth platform and we are taking important steps to reduce costs and redirect resources to those areas providing the greatest opportunity for business expansion,” he concluded.