CANADA – Olymel, a Canadian meat packing and food processing company that mainly produces pork and poultry products, has announced the closure of two of its facilities in Blainville and Laval,  as part of its “reorganization plans”.

Olymel says that the two facilities, which employ 134 and 36 people each will cease operations on 28th April.

According to the company, the move is part of its reorganization that began more than a year ago.

The two facilities poised for closure produce hams, pâtés and deli meats, marketed under various brands such as La Tour Eiffel and Nostrano, most of whose manufacturing will be retained and handled by other Olymel facilities.

Yanick Gervais, the president and CEO of Olymel, has attributed the downsizing to the “unfavourable economic conditions” but also previously highlighted falling pork volumes.

Gervais added: “The decision to close our two processing plants in Blainville and Laval is part of the reorganization that began more than a year ago and is due to the ability of other facilities to produce the same products and therefore achieve savings and efficiencies.”

“I believe that today’s announcement should enable us to achieve our operational optimization objectives more rapidly in the context of unfavourable economic conditions, with rising raw material costs, labour shortages and the weakness of certain markets all affecting the company’s profitability.”

The move will lead to the loss of jobs for all 170 employees, who have been issued with 12 weeks’ termination notice in accordance with the provisions of Quebec’s Act respecting labour standards, notes the company.

Olymel says it will offer employees an opportunity to relocate if desired.

The company affirmed that it informed the United Food and Commercial Workers union representing the workers at the facilities in Blainville and Laval before the announcement of termination.

The announcement comes barely three months after the company also announced the closure of  its Saint-Hyacinthe pork processing plant. The plant will continue to operate until Feb. 10, 2023, the scheduled date for the facility’s definitive closure.

The company says that its operations have been greatly affected by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the labour shortage and market uncertainties.

Olymel, in its 2021 fiscal year report, recorded a US$60 million loss before taxes, a drop from US$215 million in fiscal 2020.

The company operates 35 production and distribution facilities employing 15,000 workers, according to its website.

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.