Saputo closing one plant, converting another

MONTREAL — Saputo Inc. announced its mozzarella cheese manufacturing facility in Reedsburg, Wis., will be converted into a plant for producing goat cheese. Meanwhile, one of its other facilities will close.

The investment of C$45 million ($34.9 million) to expand the company’s ability to manufacture the specialty cheese and improve productivity also comes with consolidation. Saputo said it will close its goat cheese facility in Belmont, Wis. According to the company, roughly 200 employees at the Belmont plant will be affected and Saputo will provide financial support, including severance.

The initiatives are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of fiscal 2023, Saputo revealed, and are expected to be carried out over the course of up to 18 months.

With the conversion of the Reedsburg plant, Saputo will use some of its other US facilities to manufacture mozzarella, a move the company expects to improve its efficiencies and reduce costs.

“The latest series of investments and consolidation activities will strengthen the competitiveness and long-term performance of our cheese operations in our USA sector, while increasing efficiency and productivity,” said Lino A. Saputo, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The initiatives we are announcing today will allow us to enhance our manufacturing footprint and drive organic growth. We have been increasingly focused on accelerating our global strategic plan initiatives, identifying new opportunities to streamline the operating model and further improve our cost structure.”

The company said its investments and consolidation plan are expected to help Saputo over the course of time, as soon as fiscal 2024, and deliver approximately C$9 million ($6.9 million) in savings and benefits by fiscal 2025.

A Canadian-based dairy processing company with an international presence in Australia, Argentina and the United Kingdom, Saputo is one of the largest cheese producers in the United States.

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