Co-op will continue to supply plant with product
By Eric McCarthy
ABRAM-VILLAGE - It will be business as usual this year at a fish plant in Abram-Village now known as Acadian Supreme.
Acadian Supreme - Photo from Journal Pioneer website
The sale of the plant and assets of Acadian Fishermen’s Co-operative to Acadian Supreme were completed at the end of January said Jeff Malloy who remains on as CEO and General Manager of the new company.
Malloy said the co-operative will still exist, essentially as the supplier of raw product for the plant.
Previous to the purchase, Acadian Supreme was the brand name through which Acadian Fishermen’s Co-op products were marketed by Whitecap International Seafood Exporters. Whitecap will continue to be the company’s and the brand’s exclusive exporter.
Malloy said the Co-op board brought the purchase proposal to members after the fall lobster season and members voted in favour of selling AFC’s physical assets to Acadian Supreme.
Malloy described those assets as the plant, the trucks, and anything used for the processing of lobster.
Acadian Fishermen’s Co-op, formed in 1955, still exists, Malloy added. “It’s still a company, still a fishermen’s co-op.”
Neither the value of the sale nor what members were paid for their shares in the assets were disclosed.
AFC will continue to be run by a board of directors, and shareholders will benefit through the sale of raw product to Acadian Supreme.
“We hope to increase the capabilities of the plant, moving forward,” Malloy reported. He said the company will be looking to expand the operation. In addition to buying various species from AFC members, the plant will continue to buy lobster from the United States and Nova Scotia.
“All of the staff have been retained,” Malloy said in explaining how the change is happening seamlessly.
He said there is only a skeleton staff on, as usual, during the winter months, but, if the workforce is available, Acadian Supreme will be able to accommodate 220 to 225 workers during processing time. Acadian Fishermen’s Co-op could have accommodated that number in recent years but has only been able to find 175 to 180 workers, he acknowledged. “We’d like to have more.”