Canadian meat giant Maple Leaf Foods has confirmed that it is experiencing an outage after falling victim to a cyberattack.
Created in 1991 by the merger of Canada Packers and Maple Leaf Mills, the packaged meats company is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario.
Maple Leaf Foods has more than 14,000 employees and has market presence in Canada, the US, and Asia, offering products under several brands, including Maple Leaf, Schneiders, Mina, Greenfield Natural Meat Co., Lightlife, and Field Roast.
Over the weekend, the company fell victim to a cyberattack that resulted in system disruptions, the company has announced, without sharing further details on the incident.
“Upon learning of the incident, Maple Leaf Foods took immediate action and engaged cybersecurity and recovery experts. Its team of information systems professionals and third-party experts are working diligently with all available resources to investigate the outage and resolve the situation,” the company said.
Maple Leaf Foods said it has executed business continuity plans and that work is underway to restore the impacted systems. However, the company expects further operational and service disruptions, saying that restoration efforts take time.
“The Company will continue to work with all its customers and suppliers to minimize these disruptions in order to continue delivering the nutritious food people need,” Maple Leaf Foods said.
Although the company has not provided specific details on the cyberattack, the involvement of ransomware might explain the outage and the prolonged restoration efforts.
Maple Leaf is not the first large meat company to have its operations be impacted by a cyberattack. In mid 2021, JBS, the largest meat processing company in the word, was disrupted by a ransomware attack that forced an operational shutdown, just weeks after a similar incident shut down the Colonial Pipeline.