Multi-species processor dominates B.C. poultry market from Chilliwack
The Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair will see hundreds of job-seekers, students, and career-changers streaming into the Abbotsford Centre on May 30.
One of the exhibitors, Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry, will be showcasing their job opportunities and benefits, as one of a handful of Chilliwack-area companies planning to take part in the event.
“We are a rapidly growing company,” said Johanne Rene, business development manager of Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry. “Even the last two years we’ve grown significantly.”
Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry is a five-generation family farm and processor, operating near the base of Vedder Mountain since the 1970s. Formerly known as the Chilliwack Duck and Goose farm, they’ve diversified the product line considerably, moving into several niche markets.
Production has ballooned to meet the spike in demand for products like Pekin duck, goose, squab, Taiwanese chicken, as well as organic chicken and duck parts under the Yarrow Meadow brand.
“The demand is growing steadily, and it’s not just the Asian market, but also for fine dining and specialty grocers as well,” said Rene.
They have about 150 employees and are always up for a few more, so they’ll be dispatching two of their human resources reps to the career fair to gather résumés.
Theirs is a vertically integrated operation, meaning they deal with all aspects of the poultry business, and the supply chain, from beginning to end. The poultry is hatched, raised, processed, sold and distributed by them.
They employ people in sales, packaging, marketing and maintenance, along with many other positions.
“The demand for product is growing, and it’s not just the Asian markets, but also for fine dining and specialty grocersas well,” said Rene.
They are moving further into B.C., to the Okanagan and parts of the Interior.
They already dominate sales in B.C. with a 75 per cent share of specialty poultry market and they have become the largest single grower of Taiwanese chicken in Canada.
“As we expand throughout B.C. beyond the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, we will be increasing production accordingly,” she said. “And increased production means a bigger labour force is required.”
They have a few positions they are looking to fill right now and different shifts to offer, but no specific number of employees are being sought. The plan of attack at the career fair is to collect résumés, and get as many leads as possible for both full-time and part-time positions.
“The big priority is production,” she said, referring to jobs in the 10,000-square-foot processing plant.
They need Class 1 drivers, as well as retail reps.
“We are seeking part-time employees for the farm store, where excellent customer service skills come into play,” Rene added.
There are always opportunities for overtime hours and extended shifts for motivated workers.
The Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair, May 30, runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 33800 King Road, Abbotsford. Free admission.