Westco submits a processing proposal to Nadeau that complies with the
Ministerial Order

SAINT-FRANÇOIS-DE-MADAWASKA, QC, Jan. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Following the Ministerial Order forcing New Brunswick producers to process their live chicken at Nadeau Maple Lodge, Westco submitted yesterday a business proposal to Nadeau that will temporarily provide for the processing of its New Brunswick chicken at Nadeau Maple Lodge's plant in Saint-François.

Westco continues to consider the New Brunswick government's decision to be invalid and unconstitutional, and is exploring all available recourses against it. However, in the meantime, Westco's proposal would provide for the processing of its chickens at Nadeau's abattoir in Saint-François as long as the Ministerial Order is in effect on the understanding that the chicken processed under this agreement would be returned to Westco to be marketed under its Sunnymel partnership.

The Westco proposal would thereby enable Minister Ouellette to meet the main objectives of the Order, which is to maintain employment levels in chicken processing in New Brunswick.

So-called "contract-kill" arrangements like Westco's proposal are common practice in the chicken industry and Nadeau Maple Lodge has indeed already taken part in such agreements in the past. The terms of Westco's proposal to have its chickens processed at Nadeau Maple Lodge echo this practice and Nadeau should, therefore, have no problems accepting them.

"We are proposing a "contract-kill" contract that will enable Nadeau to keep processing jobs at its Saint-François plant and even surpass its historical volumes. We have attempted several times since the summer of 2009 to enter into an agreement with Nadeau Maple Lodge to find a temporary solution until our new abattoir is built. However, they have always refused our proposals as a whole, even though these proposals would have allowed them to continue to process Westco chickens. We hope that, this time, Nadeau Maple Lodge will be open and ready to enable us to comply with the Ministerial Order", said Westco CEO Thomas Soucy.

Westco informed Minister Ouellette of its proposal. Westco added that the Minister might be required to intervene if Nadeau refuses the reasonable and standard conditions outlined by Westco in its offer and which would allow it to implement the government's decision.

About Westco

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 many poultry producers, the company has become a model of success and profitability. Westco owns its own hatcheries, breeding farms, and shipping companies, and is also one of the largest poultry production organizations in Canada. The company has a strong commitment to the community, and sponsors several social programs and contributes to fund-raising initiatives in its region.

À propos d'Olymel s.e.c.

Olymel l.p. is a leader in the slaughtering, processing and distribution of pork and poultry meat products in Canada, with facilities in Québec, Ontario, and Alberta. The company employs more than 10,000 persons and exports nearly half of its production, mainly to the United States, Japan and Australia, as well as some sixty other countries. Its sales stood at $2.5 billion this year, with a slaughtering and processing capacity of 160,000 hogs and 1.6 million birds every week. The company markets its products mainly under the Olymel, Lafleur, and Flamingo brands.

SOURCE SUNNYMEL

For further information: For further information: Olymel s.e.c: Richard Vigneault, Communications, (514) 497-1385, (450) 771-0400; Westco Group Inc.: Martin Daraiche, Senior Consultant, Le Cabinet de relations publiques NATIONAL, (418) 648-1233, ext. 230, Cell: (418) 571-8528

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SUNNYMEL

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