LONGUEUIL, Que. (Canadian Press) — Canadian dairy giant Agropur has acquired the Farmland Dairies milk processing facility in Grand Rapids, Mich., for an undisclosed price.
The Quebec-based co-operative described the Grand Rapids facility Tuesday as a "leading manufacturer and marketer of on-trend UHT (ultra-high temperature processing) and aseptic dairy products."
It will become part of Schroeder Milk, the U.S.-based operation of Agropur's Natrel Division which makes a premium brand of milk that uses an advanced purification process.
Agropur chief executive, Pierre Claprood, called the acquisition "a great fit with our current fluid milk operations in the U.S. and will allow us to keep building a strong foundation for continued growth south of the border."
On Monday, Agropur announced it would be closing a dairy plant in Drummondville, Que., on Nov. 20 in a move that will put 41 people out or work. The company says the plant would have required significant investments to continue operations.
Workers at the plant will be considered for positions that may become available at any of Agropur's other facilities.
Founded in 1938, Agropur has $3.1 billion in annualized sales. It has some 5,000 employees distributed among its 27 plants and numerous distribution centres and offices across Canada, the United States and Argentina.
It processes over 2.7 billion litres of milk annually and produces such popular brands as Quebon, Oka, Sealtest, Natrel, Island Farms, Yoplait, La Lacteo, Trega and Schroeder.