Demand for Alberta turkey increased with Sunrise poultry plant expansion

Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA)
Thursday, 25 October 2012
By Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA)

October 25, 2012 - In partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd. (Sunrise Poultry) has more than doubled the capacity of its turkey plant in Taber, Alberta.

The Taber plant will process 4.9 million kilograms of turkey per year, therefore growing Alberta’s share of the turkey processing industry and increasing the demand for Alberta turkey.

Eduard Fetting, Vice President of Prairie Operations at Sunrise Poultry said, “This is a great opportunity for Sunrise, the town of Taber and turkey producers in Alberta. We need more product if we are going to sell more at home and abroad. This means we need more heavy and light fowl, more production workers and a more efficient production environment. With support from ALMA, we’re able to significantly increase our production and explore broad market opportunities much sooner than originally anticipated.”

The expansion includes a significant upgrade of the existing processing equipment to handle the increased production volumes. A new wastewater treatment system reduces the environmental impact of the facility, while auto-weighing systems increase processing efficiency and help the company work around a tight labour market. Sunrise Poultry hired and trained 30 new staff members to keep up with the increased capacity of the upgraded facility. With the plant looking to further expand the range of work done in Taber by adding more light fowl processing (chicken and smaller birds), there is a high priority on finding more people in the area to fill these posts.

Gordon Cove, ALMA’s CEO, spoke about the project, “This expansion increases Alberta’s share of the turkey processing industry and opens the door for Alberta turkey to claim a greater share of the market. A larger product base and a more efficient processing environment will allow Sunrise Poultry to market more Alberta turkey and create new value-added products from light and heavy fowl. More importantly, this expansion helps the town of Taber by creating more jobs and more opportunities.”

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