Two Quebec-based pork and poultry companies, Olymel LP and Groupe Robitaille, have announced a joint investment of $80 million toward a production and processing facility that’s expected to create 350 new jobs in central Quebec. This positive news comes just days after Olymel announced that it would cease ham deboning operations at the firm’s plant in St-Hyacinthe, Que., resulting in the cutting of 340 jobs.
The joint project is scheduled to be completed in about three years, and is expected to integrate 430 workers from Groupe Robitaille’s slaughterhouse into Olymel’s Atrahan factory. This investment is expected to double production volume at the Atrahan factory in Yamachiche, Que., by adding a second shift to operations at Olymel’s slaughterhouse and deboning facility. Once the consolidation is complete, Groupe Robitaille’s slaughterhouse will close.
“Over the past year Olymel has injected more than $150 million into its fresh pork sector in Eastern Canada. These major investments could not have been made without being accompanied by a major reorganization aimed at making our business more competitive vis-a-vis larger competitors on the international scene. An analysis of market developments and partnerships concluded in recent years, including the one with ATRAHAN Transformation Inc., on which we continue to build, and now, the one with Groupe Robitaille inLucyporc, has led us to develop a new business model designed to adapt to the challenges of today’s markets. Today, we are implementing this new manufacturing model in order to put our fresh pork sector in Eastern Canada back on track to long-term profitability, on the one hand, and on the other, to increase its efficiency, while acquiring the means to further improve the quality of our production and ensure the success of value-added products. These changes will also enable us to meet growing market demand, at home as well as in Asia, and will have a positive impact by strengthening the pork industry in Quebec,” says Olymel L.P. president and CEO Réjean Nadeau.
“What we are announcing today is the fruit of an alliance between two Quebec companies with a shared commitment to sustained growth in Canada as well as worldwide. The partnership between Olymel and Groupe Robitaille in Lucyporc undeniably represents a new business model. With this investment and the planned extensive renovations, we are confident that we will be able to better satisfy our customers’ high quality standards and respond quickly to the growing demand for our products. Moreover, this partnership will give us access to a wide range of resources in order to compete in all markets, offer products of unequaled quality, and take advantage of the synergies generated by pooling our expertise and strengths so as position ourselves for the long term and be increasingly responsive to our customers. I feel very strongly that Lucyporc and all its employees will benefit from this alliance, as well as make a significant contribution to the success of this company,” adds Claude Robitaille, president of Groupe Robitaille.