Canadian pork and poultry processor Olymel is to invest CAD31.5m (US$23.5m) in expanding one of its plants.

The company, part of the Solio Cooperative Group, plans to expand its poultry slaughtering and cutting facility in St-Damase, Montérégie, in order to “diversify operations and add new activities”.

Some 80 new jobs are expected to be added as a result, taking the total number of employees at the plant facility to nearly 500.

The investment will equip the plant with additional cutting, deboning and tray packing lines, as well as new high-capacity equipment. 

The work, which is expected to last about a year, will add 35,200 sq ft to the plant’s current surface area.

Réjean Nadeau, president and CEO of Olymel, said: “By acquiring the space and equipment needed to pre-package products directly at the plant, Olymel will be able to better serve clients who require large volumes of pre-packaged poultry products for their needs. 

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“Olymel will thus bring operations that used to take place externally in-house, enabling it to reduce product handling and transportation time, and have better control over quality, order management and logistics.”

With this new investment, Olymel has spent nearly CAD60m in recent years to modernise and expand its poultry processing plant in St-Damase. 

The plant produces more than 70m kilos of poultry products annually.

In February last year, Olymel announced plans to close a plant that is part of the Triomphe Foods business the company acquired in 2018.