Appeal by Nadeau Ferme Avicole Limitée to the Competition Tribunal
Decision in favour of Groupe Westco Inc.: project to build a new
slaughterhouse crosses a crucial hurdle
SAINT-FRANCOIS-DE-MADAWASKA, QC, June 9 /CNW Telbec/ - In a decision
handed down today, the Competition Tribunal (the "Tribunal") rejected the
request by Nadeau Ferme Avicole Limitée ("Nadeau") to force Groupe Westco Inc.
("Westco") to deliver all the live chickens it raises to Nadeau, in spite of
the absence of any contractual agreement between the parties. The motives for
the Tribunal's decision are confidential for the time being and the Court
plans to issue a public version early in July, after consultation with
This decision means that Westco and its partner Olymel can go ahead with
their plan to build a new slaughterhouse in the Saint François region in New
Brunswick. In March, 2008, Olymel and Westco had announced the conclusion of a
business partnership and agreed to pool their expertise in order to develop
their poultry meat production, slaughtering, cutting, deboning and
distribution operations for the entire Maritimes from a base in New Brunswick.
Westco and Olymel l.p. will report publicly on progress with the new
slaughterhouse project in the next few weeks.
According to Olymel l.p. President and Chief Executive Officer Réjean
Nadeau, both partners placed a lot of hope in this partnership combining the
benefits of a producer and an operator-processor, both with extensive,
complementary expertise. "We always believed in a project which was designed
from the outset to strengthen the poultry network in New Brunswick and the
Maritimes, and which will benefit mainly the producers, the industry workers
and lastly, the consumers. The delays we have encountered have affected our
determination to make a success of what represents a mutually advantageous
business project and a large-scale investment to serve better our markets,"
Réjean Nadeau noted.
"Several months ago, we decided to invest more than $30 million to build
a slaughterhouse in the region because we feel it is necessary to add
slaughtering to our breeding operations if we want to continue to compete
effectively and be able to offer our Canadian customers the best product at
the best price. The Tribunal's decision will allow us to go ahead with this
important project. With our new slaughterhouse, we will create approximately
250 new jobs in the North of New Brunswick, and the entire region will benefit
from this investment," added Westco President and Chief Executive Officer
The decision by the Competition Tribunal follows another decision handed
down by the New Brunswick Farm Products Commission (the "Commission"), which
had rejected the requests made by Nadeau to secure exclusive rights to all
chickens raised in New Brunswick. Both the Commission and the Tribunal
concluded that, even if Westco no longer supplied Nadeau with live chickens,
it would still be able to obtain the chickens it needed to keep its
slaughterhouse operating from breeders located in other provinces (in
particular Nova Scotia and Quebec).
About Olymel l.p.
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 its production, mainly to the United States, Japan and Australia,
as well as some sixty other countries. Its sales stood at $2 billion this
year, with a slaughtering and processing capacity of 160,000 hogs and 1.7
million poultry every week. The company markets its products mainly under the
Olymel, Lafleur, and Flamingo brands.
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 Group accounts for a large share of chicken and turkey production
in New Brunswick, and also owns facilities in Manitoba. The company has a
strong commitment to the community, and sponsors several social programs and
contributes to fund-raising initiatives in its region.
For further information:
For further information: For Olymel l.p.: Richard Vigneault,
Communications, (450) 771-0400, Cell.: (514) 497-1385; For Group Westco Inc.:
Martin Daraiche, Senior advisor, NATIONAL Public relations, (418) 648-1233
ext. 230, Cell.: (418) 571-8528