September 28, 2009 15:38 ET

Closure of Laiterie Lamothe in Drummondville

LONGUEUIL, QC, Sept. 28- Earlier today, Agropur executives announced to employees that the Drummondville dairy plant would be closing its doors permanently, effective November 20, 2009.

"The decision to cease all dairy processing activities in this plant is strictly based on economic concerns. In order to remain competitive, Agropur must ensure that all of its operations are profitable and efficient," explained Serge Paquette, President of Agropur Division Natrel. The Cooperative evaluates its plants on an ongoing basis with the aim of maintaining operational efficiency, particularly in an increasingly competitive market.

Despite Agropur's desire to maintain operations at the plant, which was acquired from Lamothe et frères, numerous forces beyond its control have resulted in the decision to close it. In fact, significant investments would have been required to enable it to continue operations.

The closure will leave 41 employees out of work. In conjunction with union representatives, Agropur plans to implement a support program for employees affected by the closure. Employees from the Drummondville plant will be considered for positions that may become available at any of the Cooperative's other facilities.

About Agropur

Founded in 1938, Agropur Cooperative is a Canadian dairy industry leader, with $3 billion in annualized sales. It has 3,615 members and close to 5,000 employees distributed among its 26 plants, and numerous distribution centres and offices in Canada, the U.S. and Argentina. It processes over 2.7 billion litres of milk annually and offers an impressive array of products, including such popular brands as Québon, Oka, Sealtest, Natrel, Island Farms, Yoplait, La Lacteo, Trega and Schroeder.

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