Liberté invests 12 million dollars in St-Hyacinthe, and closes down its plant in Brossard

ST-HYACINTHE, QC, June 17, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Liberté invests 12 million dollars in its St-Hyacinthe facilities, and announces the closure of its plant in Brossard. In order to meet very high quality and food safety standards in its manufacturing processes, Liberté is carrying out major investments to extend and automate its plant lin St-Hyacinthe located in the regional agri-food sector. However, the St-Hyacinthe facilities expansion is carried on within the context of the closure of its Brossard production unit where the necessary modifications to reach HACCP and GFSI norms were made impossible by municipal regulations.

On that note, the General Manager of the company, Mr. Martin Valiquette, stated: "Liberté is a rapidly growing company resolutely turned towards the future. We've always been concerned about manufacturing high-quality products. The international standards to which Liberté wishes to subscribe are more and strict, and we must adapt. Liberté's change in direction towards an increased responsibility with regards to food safety, while innovating in our industrial practices, is done in a delicate context."

Brossard Facilities Closure

The General Manager goes on to mention : "Indeed, we have reached the decision to shut down Brossard plant which has been in operation since 1964. The manufacturing of products, meeting international standards, isn't possible anymore in this outdated plant. The bad news was communicated to our employees this morning. Eighty-five jobs or so will be abolished, and all the production is going to be transferred to our St-Hyacinthe plant where 55 new jobs are going to be created. It's within that context that we have invited our employees to share with us their level of interest regarding working opportunities in St-Hyacinthe. Out of respect and in keeping with our company values, we are going to sustain our employees in Brossard, and allow some of them to carry on with their professional advancement in St-Hyacinthe, while others will choose to continue in a new working environment. More than one million dollars will be devoted to help the employees of Brossard to go through these difficult times. Despite this gloomy context for our employees at Brossard, we are happy and proud that the expansion of Liberté will continue in St-Hyacinthe, in an environment totally dedicated to the growth of the agri-food network in Québec", reminds Mr. Valiquette.

St-Hyacinthe Facilities Expansion

The expansion of St-Hyacinthe has been taking place in a rapid, steady pace since its establishment in 2008. The number of employees has gone up from 19 in 2008 to approximately 50 in 2011. The announcement made today is going to allow Liberté to offer jobs to close to 100 people.

Mr. Valiquette adds: "By investing in St-Hyacinthe, the factory is going to be able to take care of all production from Brossard while allowing a significant increase in production. This will help us to supply our markets with our consumer-praised products, notably to meet market demand in North America and the phenomenal boom for Liberté Grec brand products."

As for Mr. Mario De Tilly, General Manager of the Local Centre for Development Les Maskoutains, he emphasizes that this investment is made in the agri-food technology pole of the Province of Québec. He states: "St-Hyacinthe is the cradle of agri-food development innovation. What I mean is that we act as a leader on the production activities in the agri-food business as dwell as on the research and innovation.

The Mayor of St-Hyacinthe, Mr. Claude Bernier, is delighted at the news: "The investment carried out today by Liberté is a most important investment for our community. But more importantly, it's the creation of 50 high quality new jobs within an company that is likely to become one of the jewels of the technology pole."

Established in 1936, Liberté, which is now affiliated to Yoplait France, is a Québec company which evolves in the dairy products sector in Canada. Liberté commits itself to launch authentic and completely natural products without preservatives which are appealing to the consumers. Liberté commercialises over a hundred products in Canada under well known brand names such as Liberté Méditerranée, Liberté produits de culture, Liberté Biologique et Svelte Bio, Liberté Minimix, Liberté Muesli, Liberté Kéfir and now Liberté Grec. Liberté employs 560 people all over Canada, and exports its products to the United-States.

SOURCE Liberté

For further information:

Daniel Nadeau
President and Chief Executive Officer
Cabinet de relations publiques et de communication Nadeau Bellavance
819 562-9998
819 620-6981

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