Dairy processor Agropur Cooperative says it will be closing its fluid milk plant at Winnipeg, Man., later this year, consolidating production at other Agropur facilities in Western Canada.

“Unfortunately, the level of investment required to maintain the plant’s competitiveness in the coming years was becoming too high. We are making this strategic decision to optimize our consumer milk network in Western Canada. This will help simplify our business model and ensure our competitiveness,” says CEO Émile Cordeau, in a statement.

Fluid milk operations from Winnipeg will be shifted to Agropur’s facilities at Edmonton, Alta., as well as Burnaby and Victoria in B.C.

The company says 48 employees will be affected by the closure, scheduled for September 24, 2021.

The Winnipeg plant supplies Lucerne-brand milk for Sobeys and Safeway — a deal that was made when Agropur acquired the facility from Sobeys in 2014.

The closure will leave Manitoba with 10 dairy processing plants, whose owners include Lactalis, Saputo, Bothwell Cheese, and MDI (Manitoba Dairy Ingredients), a joint venture between Vitalus Nutrition and Gay Lea Foods

Related: Gay Lea Foods, Vitalus Bringing Dairy Processing to Manitoba

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