Olymel Invests $14M To Modernize Its Slaughter System At Its Berthierville Poultry Processing Plant
by Olymel L.P.
Posted: 2017-11-17 15:33:52 EST

ST-HYACINTHE, QC  - Olymel management is announcing an investment of $14 million to redevelop a section of its Berthierville poultry processing plant and install a new CO2 bird anaesthesia system. The work, which will start in December, should be completed by the fall of 2018 and includes the construction of a new building designed for receiving birds and conducting CO2anaesthesia, as well as the addition of new equipment for the operation of this new slaughtering method and other stages of production.

"By this strategic investment, Olymel continues to modernize its poultry sector installations. The completion of this project will enable us to achieve our objectives in terms of enhancing animal welfare, while significantly improving the working environment and the safety of our employees. This investment will also have a positive effect on the Berthierville plant's production capacity, placing us in a position to better respond to the growing demand for quality poultry products," said the President and CEO of Olymel, Mr. Réjean Nadeau.

Improving animal welfare and the working environment

The CO2 bird anaesthesia system that will be installed in the Berthierville plant offers multiple advantages. First of all, it improves animal welfare by reducing bird stress, in particular due to a 40% larger crate. Reduced bird stress also helps to avoid injuries, consequently improving the quality of the meat. This system does not require changes to farm buildings. In addition, one of the great features of CO2anaesthesia is that it significantly improves the working environment for employees assigned to slaughtering, who will work in an area with better lighting and air conditioning, as well as far less dust. Finally, the installation of this system will also increase the plant's production capacity in terms of volume.

The CO2 anaesthesia system that Olymel has chosen meets the industry's highest standards for animal welfare. The company intends to implement the same slaughtering method by 2019 at its other primary poultry processing plants in St-Damase, Montérégie and Clair, New Brunswick. The latter is jointly owned with the Westco Group, one of the largest poultry producers in Canada. In 2011, Olymel installed the same type of CO2 anaesthesia system for turkeys at its St-Jean-Baptiste-de-Rouville turkey plant in Montérégie, jointly owned with Exceldor (Olymel 68% - Exceldor 32%).

Olymel's Berthierville poultry processing plant in Lanaudière specializes in chicken slaughtering, cutting and deboning, and has a weekly capacity of nearly one million birds. The plant employs more than 425 people. The majority of its production consists of fresh products, such as trussed chickens for rotisseries and various cuts. The plant also supplies other Olymel further processing plants with fresh poultry meat.

About Olymel

Olymel L.P. is Canada's leader in the production, processing and distribution of pork and poultry meats. The company has made feeding the world its mission, which it pursues passionately with products of impeccable quality. The company employs over 11,000 persons and has production and processing facilities in Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. Olymel exports nearly a third of its total sales. Its annual sales are on the order of $3.2 billion. The company markets its products mainly under the Olymel, Lafleur and Flamingo brands. For more information about the company, visit: www.olymel.ca

Source: Olymel L.P.