CLAIR, NB, May 17, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - In a ceremony attended by more
than 700 guests today, Réjean Nadeau, President and CEO of Olymel l.p.
and also President of Sunnymel and Thomas Soucy, CEO of Groupe Westco
Inc., and Vice President of Sunnymel, took part in the traditional
ribbon cutting ceremony, officially inaugurating activities at the new
Sunnymel chicken slaughterhouse and cutting plant in the Village of
Clair, New Brunswick. The event was attended by many elected officials,
including the Premier of New Brunswick, the Honourable David Alward and
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and Member of
Parliament for Madawaska-Restigouche, Bernard Valcourt.
This more than $50 million investment was made possible through the
business partnership between Groupe Westco, one of the largest poultry
producers in the country, and the Quebec agrifood processing and
distribution giant Olymel, the leader in its field in the Canadian
market, which exports its products to more than sixty countries.
The plant, which gradually started operations on November 30 last year,
already employs close to 200 persons, and its products are now gaining
an enviable share of the Maritimes market as well as distribution
channels for other provinces. When it reaches its full slaughtering
capacity, the Sunnymel plant will process 12,000 chickens per hour, or
about 450,000 birds per week, which represents a major opportunity for
all players in the New Brunswick poultry supply line.
A SIGN OF CONFIDENCE IN THE FUTURE
Guests in attendance included Sunnymel managers, employees and their
families, as well as several representatives from various levels of
government, notably the Minister Responsible, Northern New Brunswick
Initiative, Paul Robichaud; the Member of the Legislative Assembly for
Madawaska-les-Lacs, Yvon Bonenfant; the Minister of Social Development,
Madeleine Dubé; the Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and
Labour, Danny Soucy; and the Mayor of the Village of Clair, Pierre
Michaud. The Premier noted that the opening of this new facility
demonstrates great confidence in New Brunswick's capacity for economic
development. "Alliances like the one between Olymel and Groupe Westco
help create jobs here and promote our products and the know-how of our
producers and workers. This partnership draws on the innovativeness and
strength of our workforce here in New Brunswick. This achievement is
fully in line with our plan to create jobs and grow the economy by
working with innovative partners like Westco and Olymel, " Premier
Alward went on to say.
Representing the federal government, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
and Northern Development and Member of Parliament for
Madawaska-Restigouche, Bernard Valcourt added: "Our Government is
committed to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in our
communities across Canada. That is why we are proud to support upgrades
to the Sunnymel facility. These investments will help the company to
become more efficient and productive, which will in turn contribute to
the economic growth of this region."
Village of Clair mayor Pierre Michaud welcomed the economic activity
created by the presence of the Sunnymel plant on the municipality's
territory. "For 5 years, Clair has been a real partner in this project,
which is a major factor in the revitalization of our community.
Sunnymel constitutes a guarantee of stability, as it enables a large
number of our residents to look to a future right here in Clair with
optimism," Mr. Michaud noted.
SUNNYMEL A KEY PLAYER IN THE NEW BRUNSWICK POULTRY INDUSTRY
Groupe Westco President and CEO Thomas Soucy and Olymel President and
CEO Réjean Nadeau were behind the Sunnymel business partnership, formed
by the two companies with equal shares to build this plant. They both
took the opportunity to thank all those who, in one way or another,
believed in this project and made it possible. "This plant represents
five years of solid effort and hard work to bring our products from our
poultry producers to market. It's a dream we saw on paper for 5 years
that is now real, and provides employment to some 200 people and
creates many economic benefits for suppliers and services in the
region. Sunnymel is a guarantee that producers like Westco can become
part of the value chain for their products and create a bond of trust
with consumers. This is a great day for the poultry industry in New
Brunswick," Thomas Soucy declared.
"Olymel's presence in New Brunswick through our partnership in Sunnymel
translates our ambition to expand our market shares in Canada. Our
partnership with Westco, one of the most dynamic poultry producers in
the country, is a success factor. In the Madawaska region we have found
a great home, a committed, dedicated workforce, quality products and an
undeniable desire for development. We interpret the presence here today
of Premier Alward, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, the mayor of Clair
and all those who accepted our invitation as a sign of confidence in
what we have set out to build, and will keep alive for a long time with
the invaluable assistance of our managers and employees," Olymel CEO
Réjean Nadeau concluded.
AN EFFICIENT NEXT GENERATION PLANT
The Sunnymel plant uses next generation equipment and manufacturing
processes, and its production efficiency is unique in the food
processing industry in New Brunswick. The plant also includes the most
modern facilities in order to meet the highest environmental standards,
especially as regards wastewater treatment, and it strictly follows
provincial standards in this area.
After starting operations gradually over the past 5 months, the plant
already employs some 200 persons, represented, apart from managers, by
the United Food and Commercial Workers Union-UFCW Local 503. The
poultry supply comes mainly from New Brunswick, but also Nova Scotia.
The Sunnymel plant operates under federal jurisdiction and under the
supervision of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and the
facility is HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points)
certified. Sunnymel has also embarked on the process of obtaining
Safety Quality Food (SQF) certification, a food safety standard that is
recognized internationally by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
Groupe Westco inc. is a New Brunswick company with its head office in
Saint-François-de-Madawaska. The result of a common vision for
expansion by several poultry producers, the company has become a model
of success and profitability. Westco owns its own hatcheries, breeding
farms, and shipping companies, in addition to being one of the largest
poultry production organizations in Canada. The company has a strong
commitment to the community, sponsoring several social programs and
contributing to fund-raising initiatives in its region.
About Olymel l.p.
Olymel l.p. is a Canadian leader in the slaughtering, processing and
distribution of pork and poultry meats, with facilities in Quebec,
Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. The company employs
near 10,000 persons and exports half its production, mainly to the
United States, Japan and Australia, as well as some sixty other
countries. Its sales were over $2.3 billion last year, with a
slaughtering and processing capacity of 160,000 hogs and 1.7 million
birds a week. The company markets its products mainly under the Olymel,
Lafleur and Flamingo brands.
SOURCE: SUNNYMEL (OLYMEL-WESTCO)
For further information:
Olymel l.p.: Richard Vigneault
Tel. : (450) 771-0400
Cell. : (514) 497-1385
Groupe Westco Inc.: Julianne Landry
NATIONAL Public Relations
Tel. : (418) 648-1233 ext 223
Cell. : (418) 254-8357