SOREL-TRACY, QC, July 12, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - The Bel Group announced today that it will build its first Canadian plant in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec. The facility, whose commercial production is scheduled to begin in early 2020, will be fully dedicated to producing Mini Babybel® cheese. These dairy snacks encased in small and individual shells made of red wax are very popular with Canadian consumers.
The project will require an investment of 87 million $ and create 170 skilled jobs spread between the Sorel-Tracy plant and Bel Canada's Montreal head office; furthermore, it will contribute to growing demand for Canadian milk.
Realizing this project will achieve the Bel Group's goal to produce locally, to better meet the needs of the Canadian market. The Sorel-Tracy plant will incorporate the entirety of Bel Group's industrial expertise to ensure that production meets the highest standards of quality, food safety and environmental performance.
"Bel has been marketing its products in Canada since 1957, and we know the local dairy sector's expertise. With this new plant, we are becoming a full-fledged Quebec dairy processor," said Catherine Thomas, President of Bel Canada.
The project continues the strategy that Bel Canada has implemented over more than 10 years. This strategy consists of prioritizing local manufacturing to bolster the company's growth in the Canadian market.
"This cheese is currently imported and will soon be produced with 100% Canadian milk. This is good news for local dairy producers. This investment will generate employment and much-needed economic benefits in our regions," added Bruno Letendre, Chair of Les Producteurs de lait du Québec.
Bel Canada's plant will be built on the site adjacent to Laiterie Chalifoux—a company established in Sorel-Tracy in 1920 with whom industrial synergies are expected.
About the Bel Group and Bel Canada Inc.
The Bel Group is a world leader in branded cheese and a major player in the healthy snack market.
Its portfolio of differentiated and internationally recognized brands, including such products as The Laughing Cow®, Kiri®, Mini Babybel®, Leerdammer® and Boursin®, as well as some 20 local brands, led the company to generating sales of 3.3 billion € in 2017. The acquisition of the MOM group rounds out a portfolio of strong brands, notably with the addition of Pom'Potes® and GoGo squeeZ®.
Its 12,700 employees in some 30 subsidiaries around the world contribute to the Group's success. Bel products are prepared at 32 production sites and distributed in nearly 130 countries around the world. More information is available on the Group's website at www.groupe-bel.com.
The Bel Canada subsidiary was established in 2005 to galvanize development of the group's Canadian activities. Two of its main brands—Boursin® and The Laughing Cow®—are produced in Canada through subcontracting partnership agreements with local dairy processors. The Mini Babybel® plant in Sorel-Tracy will be the first production facility that Bel operates directly in Canada. For more information, visit www.bel-canada.ca.
SOURCE Bel Cheese Canada Inc.
For further information: Arielle Mathieu, NATIONAL Public Relations, 514-260-4372; Jean-Michel Laurin, NATIONAL Public Relations, 613-406-6166