BY JENNIFER HOEGG
Kings County Advertiser/Register
Eden Valley Poultry has sealed the deal.
Maple Leaf’s Berwick Larsen’s plant changed hands May 13 and is now the property of the shareholders of United Poultry Producers Incorporated – owned by Nova Scotia and PEI processors - and Maple Lodge Holding Corporation, Ontario.
“Plans are proceeding very well,” director Ian Blenkharn says. “We hope to be operational approximately June 1 of next year.”
Asked about the purchase price, Blenkharn says, “we do not plan to disclose those details. It’s a private company. It’s not public.
“It’s none of your business.”
He did share the projected cost of the new venture: $35 million to $40 million, including the cost of demolishing and rebuilding part of the Larsen’s plant and retrofitting the inside. An earlier proposal to buy the defunct Eastern Protein property in Kentville was expected to cost $46 million.
One hundred employees at the ACA plant in New Minas will be first in line for the new jobs, Blenkharn says.
“The new plant will employ approximately 200 people, and the people currently working at the ACA plant in the (Canadian Auto Workers) and those that took the right to recall when ACA reduced staff a few years ago will be the first employees.”
Larsen’s employees may apply for any other jobs available.
“We’ll need more; we will advertise in the Valley.”
Asked if the project was good news for the Town of Berwick, Blenkharn replied, “I have not talked to anyone, but I would hope they are pleased.”