The closure will result in 994 people losing their jobs
By Diego Flammini
Another Olymel pork processing facility in Quebec is closing in 2023.
The company announced on April 14 it will close the processing, cutting and deboning plant in Vallée-Jonction in December, resulting in 994 lost jobs.
This announcement comes after Olymel’s decision to close its facilities in Blainville and Laval. Those two locations will close on April 28.
Profitability played into the recent decision to shutter the Vallée-Jonction location.
“The decision was necessary to stop losses in the fresh pork sector, which have amounted to more than $400 million over the past two years and are jeopardizing the entire company's profitability,” the company said in a statement.
The company will reduce its annual processing capacity by about 1.5 million annually.
Olymel says its locations in Saint-Esprit, Yamachiche and Ange-Gardien will help it “be in a better position to reach the (processing) capacity that has already adjusted from 140,000 to 81,000 hogs per week.”
Pork producers are concerned about the Olymel closures.
“This is a very difficult day for the pork sector in Atlantic Canada,” Denise Cassidy, executive director of the P.E.I. Hog Commodity Marketing Board, told CBC. “This will cause an oversupply situation for all the producers in Atlantic Canada.”
Atlantic Canada doesn’t have any federally regulated pork processing facilities.
Pork producers from that part of the country relied on Quebec’s capacity to process their hogs.
Producers in Atlantic Canada will have to get creative to find opportunities for their hogs, Cassidy said.
“We’ll reach out to all partners in our industry, and work with the government to see if we can find alternative buyers for our hogs, and for the affected producers of the day,” she told CBC.
The provincial government vows to support the pork sector.
“Soon, news will come to ensure the sustainability of the sector,” André Lamontagne, Quebec’s minister of agriculture, said on Twitter.
Farms.com has contacted the Canadian Pork Council for comment.