New Brunswick poultry processor opens this month

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Quebec-based agro-food processor Olymel and New Brunswick-based poultry processor Westco on Nov. 3 held an open house and information day for the new Sunnymel poultry processing plant at Clair, New Brunswick.

The companies said the joint venture, scheduled to start up Nov. 19, cost more than $50 million, will create 250 jobs and will slaughter 450,000 chickens weekly once optimal production speed is reached. In a release, the companies said that more than 250,000 chickens from 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.

Apart from managers, all employees will be represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), Local 503, which has been recognized as an accredited unit at Sunnymel. The companies said many skilled workers have been on the job for several weeks installing equipment and making preparations for the start of operations.