Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Former F. Menard hog plant upgrading for second shift

Olymel announces $9 million in renovations


Pork and poultry packer Olymel plans to dial up its pork output with a new evening shift at a Quebec hog plant it now owns in the province’s Monteregie.

Olymel, the meat packing arm of Sollio Co-operative Group, said Friday it will invest $9 million in renovations at its slaughter, cutting and deboning plant at Ange-Gardien, about 50 km east of Montreal, to handle the second shift.

The plant, which today employs about 680 people, is expected to have over 900 employees when the second shift starts operating next September, Olymel said in a release.

The hog plant, which underwent a $7 million expansion in 2016, came to Olymel in January last year when it bought the F. Menard pork production and processing business.

“With this investment, our company will have the opportunity to devote a greater part of its activities to value-added products and will be able to consolidate its position in its domestic and international markets,” Olymel CEO Rejean Nadeau said in the release.

The renovations, which the company said are already underway, will include adding freezing capacity, expanding the cafeteria and employee parking areas and upgrading its wastewater treatment equipment.

In its first phase, the second shift would allow the Ange-Gardien plant to “gradually” increase its slaughter pace to 35,000 hogs per week, up from the current single-shift rate of 25,000.

“Depending on the availability in deliveries and the market needs, this plant should be able to reach a slaughter capacity of 50,000 hogs per week,” Olymel said.

The expanded plant will continue to get hogs from farms it took over F. Menard, as well as associated breeders and other farms in hog-producing areas of central Quebec, the company said.

The Ange-Gardien plant, along with other Olymel facilities, ran overtime shifts earlier this summer with the stated goal of helping to clear Quebec’s pandemic-induced backlog of market-weight hogs. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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