Olymel plans major expansion at Que. chicken plant

Meat packing giant Olymel has announced plans for $10 million in expansions and upgrades at one of its poultry further-processing plants in Quebec’s Monteregie region.

The company said Wednesday the planned expansions at its Ste-Rosalie facility will include 15,000 additional square feet of work space and storage, including a third cooking line, a spice warehouse, two loading docks and redevelopment of the plant’s individually quick frozen (IQF) section.

Olymel, the pork and poultry arm of Quebec’s Coop Federee, said the work comes as a response to customer demand from both the retail and hotel, restaurant and institutional foodservice sectors for pre-cooked chicken products.

“The expansion and latest-generation equipment that will be installed at the Ste-Rosalie plant will allow us to seize even more business opportunities and consolidate operations and jobs at this facility,” Olymel CEO Rejean Nadeau said in a release.

The plant at Ste-Rosalie — one of several communities that merged into nearby St-Hyacinthe in 2002 — employs over 420 people, with operations split between boning and further-processing of cooked and IQF chicken products such as wings, bites and strips.

Using chicken from Olymel’s poultry slaughter plants, Ste-Rosalie’s output in turn supplies Olymel’s own brands, such as Flamingo, and private-label wares for retailers.

Staff retained

Once the construction is done, the plant can reorganize for greater efficiency, manager Claude Chapdelaine said in the company’s release. The expansion and renovations “should enable us to reduce our operations to five days instead of the current seven, as well as retain all of our staff.”

The investment, he said, is expected to boost the plant’s production volume by nearly 40 per cent.

The Ste-Rosalie plant took on additional production work in 2011 when Olymel shut down a further processing and pre-packaging plant at St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, southeast of Montreal.

The Ste-Rosalie site also saw about $1.76 million in renovations in 2009 to improve product flow between the “raw” and “cooked” sections of the facility. — AGCanada.com Network


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