Unilever to Close Manufacturing Plant in Bramalea, Ontario

TORONTO, May 8, 2014 /CNW/ - Unilever today announced that it will be closing its manufacturing plant in Bramalea, ON. 

"The decision to close the Bramalea plant came after a strategic review of the dry mix category in North America," said John Le Boutillier, President and CEO, Unilever Canada. "This decision was not easily made, and in no way reflects the dedication or performance of our colleagues at the Bramalea facility."

In further explaining Unilever's decision, Le Boutillier commented that during the review, it became apparent that a large investment was needed in the dry mix supply chain in order for Unilever to continue to deliver the highest possible quality standards, customer service levels and future packaging innovations.  He added, "As more than 80% of the volume produced at Bramalea is shipped to the United States, Unilever made the strategic decision to make its investment closer to where the bulk of the product is consumed."

Production from Bramalea – which manufactures dry mixes such as soups, sauces, sides, and gravies for North America under the Knorr and Lipton brand names – will be transferred to Unilever's plant in Independence, Missouri.

Le Boutillier added: "Closing the Bramalea plant is extremely difficult for the employees and for the local community. However Unilever Canada is making significant investments in Canadian facilities which manufacture ice cream, margarine and mayonnaise products.  These investments include upgrades and enhancements at our sites in Simcoe and Rexdale, Ontario."

The majority of the Bramalea plant production is expected to finish in Q4 of 2015 with the final plant closure expected in March 2016. The decision to close the plant will affect approximately 280 salaried and hourly employees. Support will be provided to employees in terms of transition and employee assistance.

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. We work with 174,000 colleagues around the world and generated annual sales of €49.8 billion in 2013. Over half of our company's footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (57% in 2013). Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. In Canada, the Unilever portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe®, Becel®, Ben & Jerry's®, Breyers®, Clear®, Degree®, Dove® personal care products, Hellmann's®, Klondike®, Knorr®, Lipton®, Magnum®, Nexxus®, Popsicle®, Q-Tips®, Simple®, St. Ives®, TRESemmé®, and Vaseline®. All of the preceding brand names are owned or used under license by Unilever Canada Inc.

Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined nine pillars, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/.

Unilever has been recognised in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 14 consecutive years. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. Unilever has been named sector leader of the CDP's Forests programme for three consecutive years, and in 2013 led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey - for the third year running. Unilever was named LinkedIn's third most sought-after employer worldwide in 2013.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com.

SOURCE Unilever Canada Inc.

For further information: Katharine Williams, Communications Manager, 647-632-4467, Katharine.Williams@Unilever.com