LONGUEUIL, QC, Nov. 4, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of the optimization of its fluid milk processing operations in British Columbia, Agropur Cooperative today announced the closing of its plant in Chilliwack, B.C. The plant closure will be completed by late October 2016.
"We are operating in highly competitive and fast-changing markets and our goal, with Agropur's success in mind, is always to maintain our status as a leader in the Canadian dairy industry." said Robert Coallier, Chief Executive Officer. "To remain competitive, Agropur must review and optimize its processing operations on an ongoing basis. Following the recent acquisition of the Burnaby facility, Agropur has decided to consolidate its operations and redirect production to its two other plants in British Columbia."
To accommodate the transfer of production, additional investments will be required at the Burnaby facility.
Agropur is aware of the decision's impact on the plant's 42 employees and will try to minimize it. Serge Paquette, President of Agropur Canada, stated: "The decision to close Chilliwack and transfer its volume to our existing B.C. manufacturing facilities was a difficult one. It is in no way reflective of the hard work and commitment of our employees at Chilliwack."
The affected employees will be entitled to a support program and the opportunity to apply for equivalent positions at other Agropur facilities, as well as severance pay and continued access to Agropur's Employee Assistance Program.
Founded in 1938, Agropur is a major player in the North American dairy industry with sales of more than $4.7 billion in 2014, 3,473 dairy producer owners and 8,000 employees. Agropur processes more than 5.4 billion litres of milk per year at its 40 plants across North America and boasts an impressive roster of well-known brands and products, including Natrel, Québon, OKA, Farmers, Agropur Signature, Agropur Grand Cheddar, Sealtest, Island Farms, biPro and the Ultima Foods joint venture's iögo and Olympic brands.
For further information: Dominique Benoit, Senior Vice President, Institutional Affairs and Communications, Agropur Cooperative, Phone: 450-646-1010