Olymel announces closures affecting approximately 400 workers in Ontario and Quebec

Olymel is closing two factories in Quebec and Ontario and accelerating the closure of another factory, affecting around 400 employees as the company says it continues to face market challenges.

The meat production and processing company says in a press release that these closures are part of measures aimed at reorganizing its business sectors and optimizing the operations of its facilities.

The company is closing a pork deboning and packing plant in Princeville, Quebec, in November, affecting 301 employees, and is also closing a poultry processing plant in Paris, Ontario, affecting another 93 workers.

Olymel says employees affected by the closures will have the opportunity to transfer to other facilities within the company.

In addition to the recently announced closures, Olymel says it is accelerating by more than a year, to the end of January, the planned closure of its Saint-Simon distribution center, affecting 15 employees.

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In the wake of the Paris closure, Olymel says its other poultry plants will benefit from an increase in capacity and production.

The company is notably renovating its Oakville poultry plant to add another production line, spending $8 million and creating 62 new jobs. The Paris and Oakville plants were operating below capacity, and the consolidation of their operations will generate efficiencies and savings, Olymel President and CEO Yanick Gervais said in a statement.

Olymel says it will work with authorities so that the 33 temporary foreign workers at the Princeville plant can also request relocation.

“The fresh pork industry is slowly getting back on track after two years of tumult that forced us to reorganize our operations,” Gervais said.

Thursday’s announcement is the latest in a series of closures and layoffs at Olymel this year.

In May, Olymel announced that approximately 80 workers at its hog farms in Alberta and Saskatchewan were at risk of layoffs as it cut six production facilities over the following months.

The decision was due to “continued financial losses and uncertainty in pork markets for the foreseeable future”, the company said at the time, with losses resulting from limited global market access and costs raised animal feed.

At that time, Olymel had already closed three other facilities in 2023, including two processing plants and a slaughterhouse in Quebec.

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