KENTVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA – Nova Scotia- and Prince Edward Island-based poultry producers will benefit from a new C$46-million poultry processing plant that is scheduled to open in Kentville in 2012, said a project spokesman in an interview with The Chronicle Herald. The Nova Scotia poultry industry strategic planning committee announced the chicken and turkey processing initiative jointly with Maple Lodge Farms Holding Corporation.

Several producers in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will reportedly invest in the processing complex, which will be built at the Kentville Industrial Park. When the Maple Leaf Foods plant closed in the spring of 2007, approximately 50% of Nova Scotia’s chicken farmers no longer had a processing plant for their chickens. As a result, many were forced to ship their product to northern New Brunswick or Quebec for processing.

Insiders say when the new plant begins operating, it will feature about 50% more processing capacity than the ACA Co-operative Limited processing plant currently operating at New Minas, Nova Scotia. The ACA Co-operative plant will close once the new plant begins operating, sources said.

In addition to creating many new jobs, the new facility will have the capacity to process about 12,000 chickens and 2,500 turkeys per hour. Described as the largest privately-held poultry producing company in Canada, Maple Lodge and participating farmers will each own half of the plant. This partnership between farmers and the company is unique in Canada, said Michael Burrows, Maple Lodge chief executive officer.