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Sunmel Poultry Plant to Open in New Brunswick

07 November 2012

CANADA - A new poultry plantoperated by Olymel and Westco in New Brunswick is expected to start operations later this month.

The new Sunnymel poultry slaughterhouse and cutting facility at Clair which held an open house this week is expected to employ close to 250 people.

The plant was built over a one-year period in the centre of the Village of Clair in the Upper Madawaska.

The new facility, which is equipped with the most advanced, most efficient machinery in the industry, required an investment of more than C$50 million.

The plant's weekly slaughtering capacity will be 450,000 chickens once optimal production speed is reached. More than 250,000 chickens from the producer Westco, which have been shipped to Quebec for slaughtering since September 2009, will now remain in the province and form a large part of Sunnymel's supply chain, with the remainder coming from other producers in New Brunswick and the Maritimes.

Speaking to the new Sunnymel employees, Groupe Westco President Thomas Soucy said he was delighted that the adventure of processing New Brunswick chickens for New Brunswick was finally beginning.

"For more than four years, despite many obstacles, we never stopped believing in our dream, and now that dream is becoming a reality. And the reality of the new Sunnymel plant is the creation of 250 jobs right here. It is also proof of our know-how and the strengthening of a healthy poultry industry for New Brunswick and the Maritimes. Our alliance with processor and distributor Olymel will allow New Brunswick chicken farmers to market their products and enjoy a direct line to consumers. I wish all our employees a warm welcome and a long journey of success with Sunnymel," said Mr. Soucy.

The completion of the Sunnymel plant is the result of a business partnership between Olymel, a Canadian leader in agrifood processing and distribution in Canada, and Groupe Westco, one of the largest poultry producers in the country. In March 2008 the two partners announced plans to create an integrated entity on a model that would bring together the two firms' specific expertise, generate synergies and create a farm-to-fork link in order to better serve a market like the Maritimes.

Olymel President and CEO Réjean Nadeau then added that Sunnymel would quickly find a place in the Maritimes market.

"Olymel is proud to establish a presence in New Brunswick, and thereby contribute to the economic development of the region and the province. Our partnership with Westco enables us to create a unified production chain in order to improve quality and offer customers and consumers an added value. The new plant will mean a prosperous future for all its employees, as well as the entire region. On behalf of the Olymel executive, I would like to thank everyone who helped make this project a reality, including the municipality of Clair, regional and provincial authorities and suppliers of goods and services. I would especially like to express our gratitude to all of you, workers and managers, who will bring this plant to life and make its success possible," Mr. Nadeau concluded.

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