Olymel, Canada, opened the doors to its more modernized, completely renovated pork processing plant in Yamachiche, Quebec, Canada.

In partnership with Groupe Robitaille, Canada, and in conjunction with the 50-50 partnership in Lucyporc, the $120 million ATRAHAN plant, which was first announced in 2016, doubled the area of the slaughterhouse and pork processing and cutting operations and created more than 300 jobs.

The Lucyporc plant, which produces Nagano pork, will cease operations April 26. The nearly 351 Lucyporc employees joined the 556 Olymel employees.

Since 2016, this project has addressed several challenges, including maintaining production during the renovation and modernization work, recruiting over 300 new employees and merging seniority lists to allow the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 1991P to integrate Olymel, Lucyporc and new employees under a long-term employment contract expiring in 2029.

Highlights of the plant include:

  • Dubbed the most impactful project in the Quebec, Canada, pork industry.
  • The $120 million investment generated employment for over 200 people during the construction, in addition to more than 130 specialized contractors and sub-contractors.
  • The project entailed the pouring of 12,317 m3 of concrete, the use of 695 tons of reinforced steel, the laying of 500 km of electrical cables and installation of 2,000 light fixtures, as well as the installation of 1,693 pieces of equipment.
  • A new plant area of 21,715 m2, twice the size of the original plant on the 86,000 m2 site.
  • Building of a 6 km water pipe for the supply of drinking water.
  • Installation of a new water treatment system with a capacity of up to 2,100 m3/day in a new building.
  • Preservation of a wetland of more than 4,500 m2 in its natural state.
  • Expansion and installation of new carcass refrigerators.
  • Expansion of the hog intake area and weather shelters for increased animal welfare.
  • Building of a new CO2 slaughter system for hog anaesthesia to reduce animal stress, improve meat quality and provide a better working environment.
  • Created more than 300 new jobs for a total of more than 1,000 employees.
  • Implemented a second shift.
  • Expanded office spaces and common areas reserved for employees, including the addition of 455 cafeteria spaces and 850 locker spaces.
  • Doubled parking areas.
  • Gradual increase in slaughter capacity from 18,000 to 40,000 hogs a week and doubling of production volume.
  • Modernization of production systems using the latest generation technologies, in particular through the automation of certain operations and the implementation of high-performance Cryovac vacuum packaging systems.
  • Expansion of the shipping room and installation of 4 new loading docks for a total of 10.
  • Production and marketing of value-added and niche products, such as Nagano pork or chilled pork products with a 60-day shelf life.
  • 60% of the production volume is destined for export to 50 countries.