ST. HYACINTHE, QUE. — Olymel is investing more than $31.5 million to expand its poultry slaughtering and cutting plant in St. Damase, Montérégie, Que. The project will add 35,200 square feet of additional space to the existing plant and bring 80 new jobs to the facility. The year-long project started Sept. 28 and is not expected to interrupt the plant’s current production.

The investment will equip the plant with an additional cutting line, three automatic deboning lines and four tray packing lines as well as new high-capacity equipment. In addition, the plant will get a new shipping area and refrigerated warehouse and an expanded cafeteria and employee service areas. With the expansion, the plant will now employ almost 500 workers over two shifts.

“By acquiring the space and equipment needed to pre-package products directly at the plant, Olymel will be able to better serve clients who require large volumes of pre-packaged poultry products for their needs,” said Réjean Nadeau, president and chief executive officer of Olymel. “Olymel will thus bring operations that used to take place externally in-house, enabling it to reduce product handling and transportation time, and have better control over quality, order management and logistics.”

In 2016, Olymel invested in its air-cooling room at the St. Damase plant and in 2019, the company installed a major CO2 anesthesia system in order to improve its animal welfare standards. With this additional investment, Olymel has spent nearly $60 million to modernize and expand this poultry plant. 

“In addition to contributing to the economic development of the Montérégie region, this investment is an integral part of Olymel’s determination to consolidate its position in the poultry market, and after the recent difficult months marked by the pandemic, it is also a sign of confidence in the future,” Mr. Nadeau said.

Olymel’s St. Damase facility produces more than 154 million lbs of poultry products annually. The plant produces poultry products for private customers as well as supplying the company's poultry further-processing plants, including the neighboring plant in Ste-Rosalie.