Olymel out as potential partner for Colbex plant

Quebec poultry and pork packing giant Olymel has decided to walk away from talks aimed at a possible partnership stake in a major producer-owned cull cow slaughter facility.

The company decided last week to call a halt to discussions with the provincial government and the Federation des producteurs de bovins du Quebec, owner of the Levinoff-Colbex beef plant at St-Cyrille-de-Wendover, northeast of Drummondville.

The cattle producers’ organization has owned the plant since 2006 and had been in talks with Olymel since last spring, according to Olymel spokesman Richard Vigneault.

St-Hyacinthe-based Olymel had requirements that would need to be met for it to take a role in the facility, and those conditions have not been met, he said in a brief interview Wednesday, declining to elaborate on what those conditions were.

The Colbex plant is currently operated by Groupe Cola, its previous owners, who still handle its day-to-day management such as sales, marketing and human resources, on behalf of the FPBQ.

La terre de chez nous, the news organ of Quebec’s general farm group, the Union des producteurs agricoles, on Friday quoted an FPBQ official as saying the cattle producers are now in talks with a new potential partner.

According to the report from La terre’s Julie Mercier, a new investor for the plant is a condition for continued support from the province, which guarantees the Colbex plant’s credit line.

Related stories:
Olymel in talks over Colbex beef plant, Feb. 15, 2012
Que. cattle producers urge Colbex review, Aug. 1, 2009

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