SAINT-FRANCOIS-DE-MADAWASKA, QC — A partnership involving Olymel and Westco is planning to build a new slaughtering facility in Clair, New Brunswick.

Building the slaughterhouse will allow Westco to complete integration of its operations in New Brunswick, something the company has pursued for several years. More than a year ago, Olymel and Westco made an offer to Nadeau Maple Lodge to purchase its slaughterhouse at St-François-de-Madawaska, but the offer was rejected by Maple Lodge, the Ontario firm that controls Nadeau, according to the partners.

Starting this week, Westco and Olymel will gradually transfer Westco's poultry production to Olymel slaughterhouses in Quebec. Once construction of the slaughterhouse is completed, Westco poultry will again be slaughtered in New Brunswick.

"Our first choice has always been to process our chickens in New Brunswick, and that is why we are building a $30 million slaughterhouse at Clair," said Mr. Thomas Soucy, Westco president and chief executive officer. "The Maritimes poultry industry and workers as well as consumers all stand to benefit considerably from this investment and the resulting consolidation of our industry."