CLAIR, New Brunswick – Olymel l.p. and Groupe Westco opened a new poultry slaughterhouse and cutting facility with much fanfare during an open house and information day held Nov. 3.

The facility cost more than $50 million to build. It will have a slaughtering capacity of 450,000 chickens. Westco will provide more than 250,000 chickens with the remainder coming from other producers in New Brunswick and the Maritimes.

“For more than four years, despite many obstacles, we never stopped believing in our dream, and now that dream is becoming a reality. And the reality of the new Sunnymel plant is the creation of 250 jobs right here,” said Thomas Soucy, Groupe Westco president. “It is also proof of our know-how and the strengthening of a healthy poultry industry for New Brunswick and the Maritimes.

“Our alliance with processor and distributor Olymel will allow New Brunswick chicken farmers to market their products and enjoy a direct line to consumers. I wish all our employees a warm welcome and a long journey of success with Sunnymel.”

Roughly 250 people will be employed at the plant in the Village of Clair in the Upper Madawaska. The opening date is scheduled for Nov. 19. The plant is a joint project between Olymel, a leading Canadian agrifood processor and distributor, and Groupe Westco, one of the largest poultry producers in Canada.

“Olymel is proud to establish a presence in New Brunswick, and thereby contribute to the economic development of the region and the province,” said Rejean Nadeau, Olymel president and chief executive officer. “Our partnership with Westco enables us to create a unified production chain in order to improve quality and offer customers and consumers an added value. The new plant will mean a prosperous future for all its employees, as well as the entire region.”