Poultry and pork processor Olymel has announced plans to close a meat processing facility in Canada due to decreasing production volumes.

The facility located in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, which primarily handles poultry alongside pork products, will see all 135 of its employees affected. The plant is scheduled to cease operations on 19 July, as stated by Olymel.

“This decision comes against a backdrop of falling production volumes, which has led the plant to operate at only 40% of its operational capacity,” Olymel explained in a release.

Yanick Gervais, CEO of Olymel, commented that the closure “is part of a major shift in production volumes and a situation of significant overcapacity at the plant”.

In a previous announcement last November, Olymel revealed plans to establish a “strategic centre” in Boucherville, which will become the new headquarters in the upcoming months.

The relocation is described as part of a broader optimisation strategy in its distribution and administrative sectors. Olymel expressed that this initiative will “allow the company to strengthen its business model and improve its performance in order to maintain its position as a Canadian leader in the industry production, processing and marketing of pork and poultry meat”.

At that time, Olymel assured that the restructuring would not result in job losses.

However, in September last year, the company disclosed the closure of its fifth facility within ten months, including a poultry processing site in Paris, Ontario.

Further job cuts were confirmed in January at the Red Deer facility in Alberta, affecting around 100 employees.

Regarding the closure in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Olymel plans to redistribute the remaining production capacity to other facilities within the region.

Employees affected by the closure will be offered opportunities to work at other company locations, such as the Saint-Damase site, the Unidindon facility in Saint-Jean-Baptiste, or the distribution centres in Ange-Gardien and Boucherville.

Gervais added, “Other Olymel facilities located nearby, where we have residual capacity, will be able to handle these volumes with a view to achieving savings and efficiency gains. We are aware of the value and expertise of our employees at the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu plant, and we are determined to keep as many of them as possible within the Olymel family.”

Headquartered in Saint-Hyacinthe, Olymel operates additional production and processing facilities across Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick, employing over 12,000 staff. The company, with annual sales of approximately C$4.5 billion ($3.28 billion), markets its products primarily under brand names such as Olymel, Lafleur, Flamingo, and La Fernandière among others.


Sam Allcock, a seasoned entrepreneur with over two decades of expertise in Food & Drink Editorial.

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