In this file:


         Canada's Olymel ships pigs to U.S. after coronavirus outbreak closes plant 

         Olymel's Message to Alberta Pork Producers

         Manitoba Pork Comments On Olymel Closure



Canada's Olymel ships pigs to U.S. after coronavirus outbreak closes plant


By Rod Nickel and Tom Polansek, Reuters

February 19, 2021


WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Canadaís Olymel LP said on Friday it was shipping pigs to the United States to help clear a backlog of slaughter-weight hogs after it had to temporarily close its Red Deer, Alberta, plant because of a coronavirus outbreak.


Olymel shut the plant on Wednesday and declared force majeure - unforeseeable circumstances that prevent contract fulfilment. Albertaís health department is aware of 426 infections linked to the outbreak, including one death, spokesman Tom McMillan said.


The virus spread fast last spring in meat plants in Canada and the United States, where people typically work closely together. Cargill Inc temporarily closed a Guelph, Ontario, beef plant in December because of the pandemic.


The Alberta backlog amounts to 80,000-90,000 hogs, and Olymel hopes to clear it four to five weeks after the plant reopens, spokesman Richard Vigneault said, adding the timing of reopening was unclear. Olymel has begun shipping pigs that it raised on its own farms to U.S. packers to ease the backlog, he said.


Vigneault said Olymel has laid off the plantís 1,850 workers. The facility can slaughter 45,000 hogs weekly...





Olymel's Message to Alberta Pork Producers


Source: Olymel l.p.

via Newswire - Feb 19, 2021 


RED DEER, AB, Feb. 19, 2021 /CNW/ - The temporary shutdown of Olymel's hog slaughtering, cutting and deboning plant in Red Deer is affecting the many Albertans hog producers, including Olymel's company owned farms that ship market hogs to Red Deer on a weekly basis.  The company understands the strain this has put on their operations as we estimate the backlog to be approximately 80-90,000 animals. The company has implemented several strategies to mitigate the impact as much as possible including a clear path to reducing the backlog as quickly as possible.


To this end, Olymel's hog production division that supplies the Red Deer plant will move a substantial amount of company owned production to the United States to create enough plant capacity for all independent hog producers affected by the plant closure. This transition is already underway. With the added capacity Olymel anticipates that the backlog of market ready hogs will be cleared up within 4-5 weeks after the plant is able to resume activities.


Olymel greatly appreciates the support of its employees, producers, industry and health organizations partners that have supported the company through this difficult time.


Although the company cannot determine the duration of this temporary shutdown, Olymel teams work daily in collaboration with the Alberta Public Health Services (AHS), Occupational & Health Services (OHS) and the representatives of the Union UFCW-401 to plan the resumption of activities. The best conditions must be met for this reopening, the priority being the health and safety of employees.


SOURCE Olymel l.p.


For further information: Richard Vigneault, Corporate Communications, 514-497-1385, 450-771-0400 or 1-800-463-7568


source url



Manitoba Pork Comments On Olymel Closure


by Cory Knutt, Pembina Valley Online (Canada)      

19 February 2021


Manitoba Pork is commenting on the Olymel plant closure in Red Deer, Alberta.


Grant Melnychuk is acting general manager.


"We're hopeful that plants such as the Maple Leaf Plant in Brandon or the HyLife Plant in Neepawa could eventually accept some of the pigs that were destined for Olymel in Red Deer. Likewise, some of the other smaller plants in Western Canada...We're hopeful also that there will alternatives for the ones that can't be accommodated in Western Canada, whether it's being sent down to the U.S. plants for processing.


He says very few hogs are shipped to Olymel from Manitoba, however there are some that go from the western part of the province.


Melnychuk talked about the impact on pork producers...