Agropur to close Quebec fine cheese plant in April 2019

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25 Sep 2018 --- Agropur Cooperative has announced that it is shutting its plant in Saint-Damase, in Quebec’s Montérégie region. Major investments were needed at the plant. “In view of the inability to reach a long-term agreement with the plant’s employees and the need to honor commitments to customers, Agropur had no choice but to reorganize its investments,” the company states. Operations at the plant will, therefore, be discontinued and it will close permanently in April 2019. 

The Saint-Damase plant, which employs 110 people, will wind down its operations between January and April, 2019. Soft cheese manufacturing will be integrated into the operations of the Saint-Hyacinthe plant while cheese conversion will be transferred to the Beauceville plant. The Cooperative must take the necessary measures to remain a major player in an increasingly competitive market. 

In a statement, the company says: “These decisions are not taken lightly. Agropur is keenly aware of the impact of today’s announcement on the plant’s employees. The affected employees will be able to take advantage of available programs, including employment opportunities at other Agropur sites, severance packages, and the employee and family assistance program.” 

Agropur Cooperative is a North American dairy industry leader founded in 1938. With sales of $6.4 billion in 2017, the Cooperative has 3,290 members and 8,300 employees. Agropur processes more than 6.1 billion litres of milk per year at its 39 plants across North America and boasts an impressive roster of respected brands and products, including Natrel, OKA, iögo, BiPro, Agropur Grand Cheddar, Olympic, Farmers, Island Farms and Québon. 

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