SAINT-HYACINTHE, QUEBEC — Olymel LP, a Canadian poultry and pork processor and distributor, announced on Feb. 1 that it would be closing its further processing facilities in Blainville and Laval, Quebec.
The company said the decision was part of a reorganization started in 2021 to optimize operations. The last day of operations was set for April 28, 2023. The Blainville and Laval plants have 134 and 36 employees, respectively.
“The decision to close our two processing plants in Blainville and Laval is part of the reorganization that began more than a year ago and is due to the ability of other facilities to produce the same products and therefore achieve savings and efficiencies,” said Yanick Gervais, president and chief executive officer for Olymel.
Olymel said it informed the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW 1991P) representing the workers at the facility in Blainville along with the other employees in Laval. The company said it gave 12 weeks’ notice of termination in accordance with the provisions of Quebec’s Act respecting labor standards.
“I know that this is a difficult decision for the affected employees, but I want to reiterate our firm commitment to relocate any who wish to do so in our other Olymel facilities,” Gervais added. “I believe that today's announcement should enable us to achieve our operational optimization objectives more rapidly in the context of an unfavorable economic conditions, with rising raw material costs, labor shortages and the weakness of certain markets all affecting the company’s profitability.”
The pork company plans to offer relocation opportunities for workers at other Olymel facilities that will be presented in the coming weeks.
The two facilities that closed specialized in ham, pâtés and deli meats marketed under various brand names, including La Tour Eiffel and Nostrano. The company said that most brands would be maintained, and production volumes would be handled by other Olymel facilities.
In November 2022, Olymel stated that it would close its Saint-Hyacinthe pork processing plant, which is scheduled to stop operating on Feb. 10.