US – Saputo, a Canadian dairy company that produces, markets and distributes dairy products, is making changes to its US operations, permanently closing three facilities, building a new packaging site and expanding its string cheese operations.

Saputo is investing CAD240 million (US$179.9M) in the construction of a facility in Franklin Wisconsin which is scheduled to begin operations in 2025 and is anticipated to employ 600 people.

It plans to transfer packaging operations from other sites to Franklin once it is fully operational, meaning its plant in South Dakota is set for closure in the third fiscal quarter of next year and its Green Bay, Wisconsin, facility is set to close in 2025.

The company also announced plans to convert its cut-and-wrap facility in Tulare, California into a string cheese site, funded by an investment of CAD75 million (US$55.8m).

This will, in turn, result in the closure of its string-cheese company in South Gate whose operations will move to Tulare by 2025.

The restructuring and closure of the three facilities will lead to the loss of approximately 720 jobs and the affected employees will be given the option to relocate to other sites or accept severance pay, the company informed Just Foods.

In the last year, Saputo also shuttered a goat cheese manufacturing facility in Wisconsin and invested CAD45 million (US$33.5M) to convert a nearby mozzarella plant into a goat cheese plant.

Lino Saputo, the CEO of Saputo said: “Continuing to lay the groundwork for future growth in the USA, these initiatives aim to solidify our ability to meet current and future customer demand and further improve our 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.”

Lino continued: 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.”

Saputo currently employs a total of 18, 600 people, and for the 2022 fiscal year, they generated a revenue of US$11.6 billion, according to data from Forbes Media.

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