Scheduled to begin in December, the work should be complete by the fall of 2018. Included is construction of a new building designed for receiving birds and conducting CO? anesthesia, as well as the addition of new equipment for the operation and other stages of production.
“By this strategic investment, Olymel continues to modernize its poultry sector installations. The completion of this project will enable us to achieve our objectives in terms of enhancing animal welfare, while significantly improving the working environment and the safety of our employees,” President and CEO Réjean Nadeau said in a statement. “This investment will also have a positive effect on the Berthierville plant's production capacity, placing us in a position to better respond to the growing demand for quality poultry products.”
According to the company, the new CAS system will improve production volume and the working environment for employees assigned to slaughter by lowering dust and providing better lighting and air conditioning. In addition, the CO? system increases animal welfare by reducing stress on birds through utilization of a 40 percent larger crate. The company intends to implement the same slaughtering method by 2019 at its other primary poultry processing plants in St. Damase, Montérégie and Clair, New Brunswick.
The Berthierville plant in Lanaudière employs over 425 people and has a capacity for almost 1 million birds per week. It provides other Olymel further processing plants with fresh poultry meat and specializes in chicken slaughter with a majority of its production focused on fresh products, such as trussed chickens for rotisseries and various cuts.