ACA cutting jobs

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ACA Co-operative Limited announced just after lunch Dec. 1 it is cutting jobs to reduce its workforce.

Ninety-six unionized staff at the primary processing plant in New Minas and 14 non-unionized workers at the supervisor and management levels are out of work. “This year has been a very difficult one for our staff and their families,” said Ian Blenkharn, chief executive officer and chair of the board of directors of ACA. “After the closure of our Eastern Proteins Foods plant in Kentville and layoffs in our primary chicken processing plant in New Minas, our financial position improved considerably. “However, the financial results at our primary chicken processing plant are still not where they need to be to get it through the long term. These changes are painful but necessary if we hope to make the plant sustainable, protect the remaining jobs and become better able to compete in today’s poultry processing industry.”

In 2008, ACA’s primary plant in New Minas lost $6 million. As a result of the restructuring and layoffs earlier this year, the plant’s financial position experienced a significant improvement. However, a new business model focussed on making the plant sustainable has made the current layoffs necessary. “We regret having to make this announcement now, but difficult decisions are necessary to ensure all of ACA’s operations are profitable,” said Blenkharn. “We are going to become a stronger company that is better positioned for long-term success. ACA remains committed to Nova Scotia’s poultry industry.”

The lay-offs are expected to take place by mid-December.

ACA has been in operation since 1943, providing a range of services to its farmer owners and other customers. ACA is owned by 63 poultry producers in the Annapolis Valley and Nova Scotia who elect a seven-member board responsible for the company. ACA generates $110 million in annual sales and contributes $450 million to the provincial economy.

Organizations: ACA Co

Geographic location: New Minas, Kentville, Nova Scotia Annapolis Valley

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