Olymel, the Canadian pork and poultry business, is to invest CAD8m (US$6.3m) at its processing plant in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

The move – which will allow the company to produce diced chicken – comes only weeks after the business revealed it is pumping CAD30m into its poultry operations.

Olymel suggests the newly-announced expansion will create 40 jobs.

The money will be used to construct new facilities and to acquire new equipment for chicken boning and cooking, a new activity that will be added to the facility’s existing production operations. 

The facility will be supplied with fresh products by Olymel’s poultry primary processing plants in St-Damase, Montérégie, and at Sunnymel in New Brunswick. 

The firm said cooking and boning chickens will allow it to produce ‘value-added’ diced chicken for hotel, restaurant and institutional clients.

Once completed, the construction work will add nearly 14,000 sq ft to the facility, bringing its total surface area to over 37,000 sq ft. New production operations should begin in April 2018. 

Olymel president and CEO Réjean Nadeau said: “This CAD8m investment in our St-Jean-sur-Richelieu plant will make us more efficient and further diversify our operations. 

“This new activity should ultimately have a positive impact on the poultry sector in Quebec and contribute to St-Jean-sur-Richelieu’s economic development by creating new jobs.” 

The Olymel plant in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu employs more than 130 people at the moment. It manufactures a variety of products ranging from poultry cold cuts to tournedos, chicken skewers, turkey roasts and now, diced chicken.