Canadian meat heavyweight Olymel has confirmed another round of job cuts, this time at its Red Deer plant in Alberta.

The pork and poultry processor said some 100 employees at the plant will be laid off in the coming weeks.

In a statement sent to Just Food, a spokesperson said: “The global pork production and processing industry has been under pressure for the past three years and Olymel’s Red Deer plant is no exception. In western Canada, this situation led to a reduction in hog production and the closure of barns in Alberta and Saskatchewan last year.

“On January 4, the Olymel plant in Red Deer announced an overstaffing of some 200 people. All Red Deer employees were informed that Olymel planned to lay off 100 employees in the coming weeks.

“At present, 30 temporary lay-off notices were issued last week, and a further 30 temporary lay-offs are planned for this week.”

Olymel said “to minimise the impact of this change” it has implemented a retirement incentive programme at the plant with employees over 60 with ten or more years’ service eligible.

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It added: “We are also looking at other mitigation options that could help reduce the number of temporary lay-offs. We are continuing to assess the situation, and adjustments will be made as necessary over the coming weeks, depending on the success of the unique early retirement incentive programme and the plant’s natural turnover rate.”

Olymel underlined the lay-offs are temporary and said employees could be recalled to their positions at the plant in the coming weeks or months “depending on how the situation develops”.

The latest announcement follows a number of plant closures at Olymel last year.

Last February, Olymel revealed plans to close pork processing facilities in Blainville and Laval at the cost of 170 jobs.

In April, the company announced it was to close a pork plant in Quebec with 994 employees impacted.

And, in September, Olymel said it would be closing a poultry processing plant in Paris, Ontario, employing 93 people.