Olymel to close Quebec hog plant

The Canadian company will lay off 994 people
calendar icon 17 April 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Canada's Olymel, one of the country's biggest pork processors, said on Friday that it would close a hog plant in Vallee-Jonction, Quebec by late this year, laying off 994 people, reported Reuters.

North American pork processing plants are facing high costs from inflation and elevated grain prices.

Losses in the fresh pork sector are jeopardizing the entire company's profitability, Olymel, which also processes poultry, said in a statement. Sollio Cooperative Group owns Olymel LP.

The company announced plans in the past year to cut its slaughter capacity by 1.5 million hogs annually, making it necessary to close plants, said Olymel CEO Yanick Gervais.

"The pandemic, labour shortages, increased costs due to inflation, not to mention closure of the Chinese market, all this has had a major impact on the fresh pork market," Gervais said.

China ceased imports from some slaughter plants due to COVID-19 outbreaks in 2020, and has not lifted those restrictions for some facilities.

A labour shortage in the region and the plant's need for upgrades were also factors in closing it, Gervais said.

Quebec is Canada's biggest hog-producing province. Olymel's pork export markets include Japan and South Korea.

The Vallee-Jonction plant is one of four owned by Olymel that slaughters, cuts and debones hogs in Quebec.

Its closure will occur in stages to allow for processing of its remaining hogs and those in the region, with final closure set for Dec. 22.

In February, Olymel said it would close Quebec pork-processing plants in Blainville and Laval, resulting in 170 lost jobs there.

Rival Canadian packer HyLife Foods is poised to shut down a Minnesota hog plant if it can't find a new owner, local media reported, citing a HyLife memo to the state government.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.