According to a press release from the president of Eden Valley Poultry, the Berwick plant began processing chicken from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island today.
The project, estimated to cost $40 million, was announced in April 2011. Eden Valley has retrofitted the former Larsen’s pork processing plant property and will employ 180 staff.
Eden Valley is a joint venture between Ontario’s Maple Lodge Farm and United Poultry Producers Incorporated.
“This is something everybody has been anxiously waiting for," said Alexis Grant, economic development co-ordinator for Berwick and area. “It’s great news to us as far as our tax base for the town… to have a new processing facility running.”
In August, president Greg Gillespie said the company was waiting for Canadian Food Inspection Agency's plant inspection and approval to operate. At the time, he said Eden Valley expected to employ 122 people from the ACA plant in New Minas.
Grant, who worked for ACA Co-operative before downsizing at the New Minas poultry processing plant, said she was happy to “see the facility born again.”
“I think it’s a wonderful boost for the town and for chicken and turkey processors in the province,” she said. “I’m pleased they are going to have the facilities they need.”