Amidst shutdown, Olymel implements mitigation strategies
By Bree Rody
Alberta-based pork producers have received assurance that their market hogs will have somewhere to go, following the temporary shutdown of Olymel’s hog slaughtering, cutting and deboning plant in Red Deer. The shutdown is expected to result in a backlog of 80 to 90,000 animals.
The company has confirmed as of Feb. 19 that it will move “a substantial amount” of its own hog production division, which supplies the Red Deer plant, to a U.S.-based factory. This is part of a number of strategies Olymel has implemented in order to mitigate the impact of the shutdown.
The transition to moving production to the U.S. facility is already underway. Olymel says this will result in added capacity for independent hog producers affected by the closure. It is estimated that the backlog will be cleared within four to five weeks after activity resumes at the plant. However, the company still is unable to determine the duration of its shutdown. Olymel must meet a series of conditions in order to reopen.
Olymel announced the temporary closure of its plant on Feb. 15. The closure came following a resurgence of positive COVID-19 tests among staff. The uptick first began Jan. 20.