Extended Olymel shutdown could take toll on Alberta pork producers


Byron Hackett, Red Deer Advocate (Canada)

Feb. 18, 2021


Pork producers across Alberta and Saskatchewan are worried about what a backlog at the Olymel pork processing plant could mean.


The plant in Red Deer, which was shut down this week amid growing concerns about a COVID-19 outbreak, processes close to 45,000 pigs per week according to Alberta Pork.


The plant shut down as more than 343 COVID-19 cases were connected to the outbreak at the facility, over 200 of which are active.


Alberta Pork executive director Darcy Fitzgerald said an extended shutdown will be hard on the industry, forcing producers to look for alternative means.


“We don’t know when the plant will open, so that is our problem right now. Every week means approximately 45,000 pigs from Alberta and Saskatchewan producers will have to find another home or sit in the barn and wait,” he said.


“For a large majority of independent and colony producers...