La Coop fédérée and Olymel announce the regrouping of their pork breeding and processing operations

MONTREAL, Jan. 24, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - La Coop fédérée and its meat processing subsidiary, Olymel l.p., jointly announced today that technical and consulting services to producers in the pork industry, such as herd management, animal welfare and meat quality, as well as the operations of Sogeporc Inc., a subsidiary specializing in the improvement and marketing of swine genetics, will now be placed under the responsibility of Olymel. The fifty employees at Sogeporc and those working at Technical Services under the direction of Étienne Hardy will also become Olymel employees. As part of these changes, Olymel will also work closely with the Feed Department of La Coop fédérée to meet the needs of both eastern and western Canada. Lastly, in the context of these changes and in order to better manage these new responsibilities, Olymel has created the position of Vice President, Swine Production, Eastern Canada. This position will be occupied by Robert Brunet as of January 27.

"The reorganization we are announcing today reflects the commitment we share with our owners to bring livestock and processing operations together in order to achieve greater coordination of our company's operations. In addition, these changes correspond to an operational logic that reflects Olymel's development in recent years. These new responsibilities will help strengthen synergies arising from the company's expansion, including the acquisition in January of all Canadian assets of Big Sky Farms, the 3rd largest hog producer in Canada, with facilities located in Saskatchewan. We will continue to support Sogeporc's mission, and we are pleased to welcome its entire staff, with whom we will work actively to formulate a development strategy for a more dynamic, robust industry," noted Réjean Nadeau, President and CEO of Olymel

Created over 25 years ago by La Coop fédérée and local cooperatives, Sogeporc has made a significant contribution to the growth of many family-owned hog farms, as well as to the dynamism and success of the pork industry in Quebec and Canada. It has become a leader in its field thanks to the quality technical services it provides to farms and to La Coop network in the areas of feed programs, profitability and animal health, as well as its proven performance in terms of both genetic quality and high sanitation standards, factors that have contributed to maintaining the industry's competitiveness.

"This reorganization is the result of a strategic review undertaken jointly with Olymel in order to better respond to changes in our pork industry. We now feel assured that the valuable expertise acquired over the years at Sogeporc and Technical Services in the field of swine production will remain within La Coop fédérée. Sogeporc's mission will be maintained within Olymel, while the cooperative pork industry and proprietary hog programs, including the Coop certified Pork program, will be further strengthened," added Claude Lafleur, CEO of La Coop fédérée.

About La Coop fédérée
Founded in 1922, La Coop fédérée is the largest agri-food company in Quebec, and ranks among the world's 100 largest cooperatives in any industry. It is owned by more than 100,000 members organized into 102 cooperatives located in several provinces of Canada. La Coop fédérée is present throughout the food chain and, as a wholesaler, it provides agricultural producers with the goods and services they need for their business operations. Its network has five banners: Elite and La Coop (animal and crop production and grain marketing), Unimat (farm equipment and machinery), Sonic (energy) and Olymel (meat processing). La Coop fédérée employs more than 9,500 persons, and posts sales of close to 5 billion dollars. With its affiliated cooperatives included, the entire network has nearly 15,500 employees and combined sales of 7.8 billion dollars. www.lacoop.coop

About Olymel l.p.
Olymel l.p. is a Canadian leader in the production, slaughtering, processing and distribution of pork and poultry meats, with facilities in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. The company employs nearly 10,000 persons and exports close to a third of its total sales, primarily to the United States, Japan, Russia and Australia, as well as some sixty other countries. Its annual sales stand at 2.5 billion dollars, with a slaughtering and processing capacity of 160,000 hogs and 3 million birds per week. The company markets its products mainly under the Olymel, Lafleur and Flamingo brands. www.olymel.ca

SOURCE Olymel l.p.

For further information:

La Coop fédérée:
Ben Marc Diendéré
Vice president, Communications and Public Affairs
(514) 858-2079 or (514) 710-9772
Ben-marc.diendere@lacoop.coop
@marc_ben

Olymel l.p.  
Richard Vigneault
Corporate Communications     
(514) 497-1385 or (450) 771-0400