Maple Leaf Foods says it will be closing its turkey processing plant in Thamesford by early 2018.

Work currently done at the plant will be moved 60 kilometres away to the new Sofina Foods facility in Mitchell.

According to a press release issued Tuesday by Maple Leaf, operations will be moved from Thamesford to Mitchell in phases over the next 18 months.

“This was a very difficult decision given the impact on our employees and the community, but necessary given the substantial physical limitations at our 80-year-old Thamesford plant,” Maple Leaf CEO Michel McCain said in the release.

Maple Leaf says it will work with the community to find a new use for its facility, and will attempt to find “alternate employment” for the approximately 400 people currently employed in Thamesford.

The company closed facilities in Ayr and Kitchener in 2012 and 2015 respectively.