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October 18, 2022

Olymel cuts more jobs at Canadian pork, poultry business

Olymel has reduced the workforce by 120 in recent months.

By Simon Harvey

Olymel is eliminating 57 management positions in the latest round of job cuts at the Canadian pork and poultry supplier.

The Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec-based company has now reduced the administrative workforce by 120 in “recent” months, with the business citing the myriad of economic challenges affecting the global food industry. Layoff notices were given to the 57 employees yesterday (17 October), most of whom are based in Quebec.

Olymel, majority-owned by Canadian co-op Sollio Cooperative Group, operates 35 production and distribution facilities employing more than 14,000 workers, according to its website. The company owns brands such as its namesake line and also Flamingo and Lafleur, among others, exported to 65 countries.

Yanick Gervais, the president and CEO of Olymel, said in a statement: “The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and a historic labour shortage at our facilities, market and supply-chain disruptions, raw material price inflation and an uncertain global economic landscape, are all factors that make a case for optimised company business models. Olymel is no exception.”

He added: “After careful analysis, the difficult decision to significantly reduce our management staff is an answer to the need to adapt to unpredictable market conditions and to better position the company for the future.”

The business generated sales in fiscal 2021 of CAD4.2bn (US$3.1bn), up CAD80m on the previous year. Its production and processing facilities in Canada are located in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, supplying the retail and foodservice channels.

Gervais took on his current roles last year upon the death of then president and CEO Réjean Nadeau.

Nadeau, who took the helm at Olymel in 1996, instigated a number of acquisitions during his tenure, including Quebec-based sausage firm La Fernandière in 2016, ready-meals maker Pinty’s Delicious Foods in Ontario and fresh meats business Aliments Triomphe in 2018. Quebec-based pork business F. Ménard was the most recent addition to the stable.

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