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Olymel shutters St-Hyacinthe pork processing plant

The plant, which employees 107 people, will close in February

Olymel is closing its pork processing plant in St-Hyacinthe, Que.

The 107 employees still actively working in the facility's melting, storage and packaging operations have been notified about this decision and have received a 12-week notice of termination, the company said. 

All employees will be offered the opportunity to be relocated to other Olymel facilities in the region.

Located on St-Jacques Street, the plant will continue to operate until Feb. 10, 2023.

The news comes after Olymel had announced a reduction in the plant's packaging operations in July, as well as a reorganizing of Olymel's workforce in the fresh pork sector and a reduction in the volume of products requiring packaging. 

The primary processing facilities (slaughtering and cutting) are now able to cover the packaging operations previously handled in part by the St-Hyacinthe plant, Olymel said.

Products previously stored at the St-Jacques Street plant will be transferred to other internal or external distribution centres. 

Olymel's management team has also decided to end the melting operations for lard production, due to the scale of investments required. In the future, the raw materials used to make lard will be sold to an external company.

"This decision ties in with the restructuring of the fresh pork sector and stems from a months-long analysis that concluded today. Closing the St-Hyacinthe plant is part of the difficult, albeit necessary and responsible, measures to ensure that the fresh pork sector gets back on the road to profitability after two years of difficulties caused by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the labour shortage, market uncertainties and various other factors underlying the unfavourable economic situation," said Yanick Gervais, president and CEO of Olymel, in a statement.

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