Olymel puts Que. pork plant plans on hold: report

Quebec meat packer Olymel’s plans for $15 million in expansions at its pork slaughter plant in the province’s Beauce region are now on hold, according to Le journal de Quebec.

The newspaper reported Tuesday that the company has set aside its plans to expand cold storage and other operations at its Vallee-Jonction facility, about 60 km south of Quebec City.

The newspaper quoted spokesperson Richard Vigneault as saying a forecast drop in the province’s hog herd could well affect all pork slaughter plants in Quebec.

If the available hog herd drops by about 10 per cent to seven million head as expected, it would be rash for Olymel to sink $15 million into a plant where it can’t be sure it will be able to expand production, the journal quoted Vigneault as saying.

Cold carcass storage expansion and other work at the facility would have allowed Olymel, under other circumstances, to expand its weekly slaughter at Vallee-Jonction to 45,000 head, up 8,000 from current levels.

The plant, which currently employs over 1,000 people, would have been able to hire 80 more workers had the expansion gone ahead, the newspaper said.

Labour woes had threatened to shut the plant in 2007 before workers agreed to a deal to keep the facility open.

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