RED DEER, AB – The temporary shutdown of Olymel’s hog slaughtering, cutting and deboning plant in Red Deer is affecting the many Albertans hog producers, including Olymel’s company owned farms that ship market hogs to Red Deer on a weekly basis. The company understands the strain this has put on their operations as we estimate the backlog to be approximately 80-90,000 animals. The company has implemented several strategies to mitigate the impact as much as possible including a clear path to reducing the backlog as quickly as possible.
To this end, Olymel’s hog production division that supplies the Red Deer plant will move a substantial amount of company owned production to the United States to create enough plant capacity for all independent hog producers affected by the plant closure. This transition is already underway. With the added capacity Olymel anticipates that the backlog of market ready hogs will be cleared up within 4-5 weeks after the plant is able to resume activities.
Olymel greatly appreciates the support of its employees, producers, industry and health organizations partners that have supported the company through this difficult time.
Although the company cannot determine the duration of this temporary shutdown, Olymel teams work daily in collaboration with the Alberta Public Health Services (AHS), Occupational & Health Services (OHS) and the representatives of the Union UFCW-401 to plan the resumption of activities. The best conditions must be met for this reopening, the priority being the health and safety of employees.