Agropur to shut Montreal-area milk plant

Quebec dairy co-operative Agropur plans to shut a Montreal-area fluid milk processing plant which it says has aged out of service.

The company said Tuesday it will close its milk plant in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, which today employs 67 full-time and 27 “temporary” staff, by late May next year.

“Considering the age and condition of the building and equipment at the St-Bruno plant, significant investments would have been necessary to keep it operational,” the company said in a release.

The plant, in the downtown area of Montreal’s St-Bruno suburb, is also hemmed in by its location, with no room for any possible future expansion, the company said.

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Employees affected by the closure will be eligible for severance and employee assistance programs and may be able to apply for “equivalent positions” at other Agropur plants.

Agropur in recent months has been in both cost-containment and capacity-boosting mode, spending over $100 million in 2014 on upgrades at its Lethbridge, Alta. and Oka and St-Hyacinthe, Que. plants, plus new lab and head office space at Longueuil, Que.

The company said it also kept up a “stringent cost control” program in 2014, to generate “substantial recurring savings” across the organization, and would continue that program in 2015.

The program, Agropur said, found nearly $46 million in cumulative net savings, or $60 million on an annualized basis, in fiscal 2014. — Network


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