Olymel and Groupe Robitaille announce the conclusion of their partnership and an investment project of $80 million in Yamachiche, as well as the creation of 350 new jobs

YAMACHICHE, QC, Aug. 9, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Olymel management and Groupe Robitaille executives today announced plans to invest $80 million in Yamachiche, Quebec, in conjunction with the conclusion of the 50-50 partnership in Lucyporc announced in November 2015. This major investment is also part of a reorganization of Olymel operations in the fresh pork sector in Eastern Canada. The project will allow the ATRAHAN plant in Yamachiche, which was the object of a partnership agreement with Olymel in February 2015, to expand and increase its production capacity. The investment involves the elaboration of a business plan to ensure the continuity of each entity in marketing value-added products.

Partnership with Lucyporc and creation of more than 350 new jobs

This business partnership between Olymel and Groupe Robitaille confirms that due diligence has been successfully completed and that the partnership will go into effect in the autumn of 2016 at the Lucyporc plant in Yamachiche, and pursue with the introduction of a second shift in the expanded and reorganized Olymel hog slaughterhouse and deboning facility (ATRAHAN), a project that will be completed within three years. This facility will create ideal conditions for sharing of expertise and maintenance and compliance with product specifications, thus enabling it to satisfy the customer requirements, especially in Japan. In this connection, the Lucyporc management and staff will play a vital role in meeting the standards in product specifications. In addition to the 360 Olymel (ATRAHAN) employees and all the employees of Lucyporc (430), this project will create 350 new jobs, bringing the total to over 1000.  

The two partners developed this plan in order to optimize their operations by sharing their know-how with a view to pooling the expertise possessed by Olymel and Lucyporc. Specializing in the slaughtering and butchering of hogs, the facility on des Acadiens Road in Yamachiche (ATRAHAN) will be expanded so as to be able to operate on two shifts, thus doubling its current production volume. The work will include redevelopment of the hog receiving area, expansion of the slaughtering section, cold rooms and the butchering room, storage areas, shipping and service areas, as well as water treatment facilities. Once the work is completed, the plant will be outfitted with the latest equipment, enabling it to meet its customers' rigorous demands and, among other things, further increase the value of its products and by-products, and continue producing superior quality niche products such as Mugifuji pork and Nagano pork, featured Lucyporc brands, as well as chilled pork. At the end of this investment and expansion project at the des Acadiens Road plant in Yamachiche, the day shift will be mainly devoted to producing value-added products under the Mugifuji and Nagano brands in full compliance with Lucyporc specifications for these products.

"Over the past year Olymel has injected more than $150 million into its fresh pork sector in Eastern Canada. These major investments could not have been made without being accompanied by a major reorganization aimed at making our business more competitive vis-a-vis larger competitors on the international scene. An analysis of market developments and partnerships concluded in recent years, including the one with ATRAHAN Transformation Inc., on which we continue to build, and now, the one with Groupe Robitaille in Lucyporc, has led us to develop a new business model designed to adapt to the challenges of today's markets. Today, we are implementing this new manufacturing model in order to put our fresh pork sector in Eastern Canada back on track to long-term profitability, on the one hand, and on the other, to increase its efficiency, while acquiring the means to further improve the quality of our production and ensure the success of value-added products. These changes will also enable us to meet growing market demand, at home as well as in Asia, and will have a positive impact by strengthening the pork industry in Quebec," noted Olymel L.P. President and CEO Réjean Nadeau.

The expansion and merger of operations is expected to span a period of about 36 months, during which both the Olymel plant on des Acadiens Road (ATRAHAN) in Yamachiche and the Lucyporc plant will continue their respective operations. This reorganization is under discussion with representatives of workers at the Olymel plant in Yamachiche (ATRAHAN) as well as those at Lucyporc, both groups being members of UFCW Local 1991-P.

"What we are announcing today is the fruit of an alliance between two Quebec companies with a shared commitment to sustained growth in Canada as well as worldwide. The partnership between Olymel and Groupe Robitaille in Lucyporc undeniably represents a new business model. With this investment and the planned extensive renovations, we are confident that we will be able to better satisfy our customers' high quality standards and respond quickly to the growing demand for our products. Moreover, this partnership will give us access to a wide range of resources in order to compete in all markets, offer products of unequaled quality, and take advantage of the synergies generated by pooling our expertise and strengths so as position ourselves for the long term and be increasingly responsive to our customers. I feel very strongly that Lucyporc and all its employees will benefit from this alliance, as well as make a significant contribution to the success of this company, " added the President of Groupe Robitaille, Claude Robitaille.

The partners in this venture expressed their gratitude to officials of the Municipality of Yamachiche, as well as to the regional authorities for their cooperation throughout the planning stages of this project.

About Olymel

Olymel L.P. is Canada's leader in the production, processing and distribution of pork and poultry meats. The company, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2016, has made feeding the world its mission, which it pursues passionately with products of impeccable quality. In carrying out its mission every day, Olymel relies on its tradition of maintaining a strong link between farm and table, as well as on innovation and attention to customer and consumer needs. The company employs close to 11,000 persons, including more than 8,000 in Quebec, and has large facilities in Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan. Olymel exports nearly a third of its total sales, mainly to the United States, Japan and Australia, as well as over 65 other countries. Its annual sales are on the order of 3 billion dollars. The company markets its products mainly under the Olymel, Lafleur and Flamingo brands. For additional information about the company, visit www.olymel.ca.

About Lucyporc

A food processing firm located in Yamachiche, in the St. Maurice Valley region, Lucyporc was founded in 1998 by Groupe Robitaille, a diversified, integrated family business, which has been active in poultry and pig production, feed milling and food processing for over 50 years. Group Robitaille also owns Viandes Dunham. The firm employs over 650 persons in Quebec, including 350 at Aliments Lucyporc, which specializes in pig slaughtering, butchering and processing. For its production operations, Groupe Robitaille meets specific demanding criteria of genetic selection, breeding, feeding, traceability, biosecurity and animal welfare, enabling Lucyporc to manufacture niche products.  The company markets and exports superior quality products, including the renowned Nagano pork that is so popular on the domestic market, and the Mugifuji brand, manufactured specifically for the Japanese market. In addition to Japan, the company serves several other foreign markets, in particular the United States and Mexico. For complete information on the company, visit www.grouperobitaille.com, www.lucyporc.com and www.viandesdunham.com

 

SOURCE Olymel l.p.

For further information: Richard Vigneault, Corporate Communications, (514) 497-1385 or (450) 771-0400; Aliments Lucyporc, Denis Levasseur, General Manager, (819) 296-1754 ext 104


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