MONTREAL — Dairy giant Saputo Inc. has announced sweeping changes to its U.S. operations, saying it will permanently close three facilities, build a new packaging facility and expand string cheese operations.
The goal of the capital investments and consolidation is to streamline and enhance its manufacturing footprint in the United States, the Montreal-based company said Thursday.
Saputo said it's spending $240 million on a new cut-and-wrap facility in Franklin, Wis., which is slated to be fully operational in late 2025 and create 600 jobs, while also investing $75 million to expand string cheese operations on the U.S. West Coast.
Once the new and expanded facilities are up and running, the company said it will permanently shutter facilities in Big Stone, S.D., Green Bay, Wis., and South Gate, Calif.
Approximately 720 employees will be affected by the consolidation initiatives, the company said.
"Employees will be offered the opportunity to relocate to other Saputo facilities and, if no positions are available, they will be provided with severance and outplacement support," Saputo said.
Saputo CEO Lino Saputo said the changes will lay the groundwork for future growth in the United States while improving the company's cost structure.
“Strategic investments, a streamlined footprint, and optimized facilities will set the stage for notable improvements in our operational performance as we consolidate activities into world-class facilities," he said in a statement.
"Also designed to increase production capabilities in some of our higher-margin value-added product categories, these initiatives will fuel our aspirations to further enhance our value proposition as a high-quality, low-cost processor in the USA.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 2, 2023.
Companies in this story: (TSX:SAP)
The Canadian Press