It’s no longer a cheese plant and the workforce has dropped from more than 80 to 20, but the dairy plant here is still in business. Located in the County of Cardston, Glenwood is a village nestled south of Highway No. 3 and home to just 300 people or so.
“We make skim milk powder only,” said Kendall MacDonnell, manager of Saputo Dairy Products Canada GP plant. “We’re just a drying facility.”
Saputo bought the plant in December of 2000, and in 2004, the plant stopped making cheese and started making powdered milk.
“When we were making cheese in 2004 we had 80-something people working here. That’s why it was an easy transition for us — we had everything here already,” said MacDonnell, adding that other Saputo plants didn’t have the equipment required to make the switch.
Powdered milk isn’t used in Canada to the extent it is in developing nations, but it can be a critical ingredient to foreign aid.
“We sell everything basically to the Canadian Dairy Commission and then they determine where it goes. When you have emergencies or catastrophes, that’s one thing you can ship over there. And when they get their water at least they have some type of a dairy product,” said McDonnell. The plant produces approximately seven million kilograms of powder annually.