Canadian turkey producer and processor Belwood Poultry plans to build a CA$8.1 million (US$6,5 million) turkey packaging plant in Windsor, Ontairo.

Belwood Poultry, which according to its website has been in business since 1962, will package previously slaughtered turkeys at the facility. The turkey products packaged there are expected to be sold in the Canadian and U.S. markets.

The Windsor City Council approved an incentive package for Belwood Poultry that would give the company an estimated CA$821,420 (US$660,185) in property tax savings over the next ten years, according to a report in the Windsor Star.

The facility will be built on a 4.5-acre parcel of land, which contains a 52,000 square-foot building. It has most recently been used as a warehouse, but the building had also been used as the home of a curling club and an ice storage freezer. It is estimated that about 50 people will be employed at the plant.

“What we are excited about is investing in the community (and) creating jobs for the short and long term,” company spokesman Ben Schlegel told the city council.

The council did hear from people who were opposed to the planned project, citing worries related to animal rights issues, as well as concerns about potential increases in crime in the neighborhood. Those concerns were acknowledged, but did not affect the council’s vote.

The plant will get its turkeys from Belwood’s processing plant in Amherstburg, Ontario, which gets them from family farms in the Wingham area. 

A family-owned company, Belwood Poultry’s name derived from the two Ontario communities of Belle River and Woodslee. The company states that its name pays tribute to the two small towns and small-town values.

The company produces raw meat products for sale to primarily wholesale manufacturing, institutional and distribution/brokerage companies, as well as for export markets.