BELMONT, Wis. – Saputo, a cheese and dairy company based in Montreal, Canada, last week announced plans to close its goat cheese plant in Belmont as part of a facility restructuring plan. production based in the United States.
The Belmont closure is expected to affect approximately 200 employees.
According to a company press release, its mozzarella cheese manufacturing plant in Reedsburg will switch to goat cheese production, which company executives say will allow them to produce as much goat cheese as possible in the Belmont plant.
Belmont plant employees will receive financial support, including severance pay, according to the release; it is unclear if any of the Belmont employees will be offered positions at the Reedsburg plant.
Saputo plans to invest C$45 million (approximately US$35 million) in the Reedsburg conversion project. Mozzarella production that initially came out of the Reedsburg plant will be transferred to other Saputo facilities in the United States, according to the release.
Lino A. Saputo, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of the company, said the restructuring was part of Saputo’s efforts to consolidate its operations in the United States and reduce its 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 Saputo.
Modifications to the Wisconsin cheese manufacturing facilities are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of fiscal 2023 and are expected to take up to 18 months to complete.
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