Juice maker Lassonde plans eight-figure Que. plant upgrades

Fruit and vegetable juice processor Lassonde Industries plans to spend up to $19 million on upgrades and new production lines at its plants in Quebec’s Monteregie region.

The company’s oldest subsidiary, A. Lassonde, which started at Rougemont, Que. in 1918, will add two new preform production lines at its plants there to make polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles.

The new lines will allow Lassonde to make its PET plastic bottles and caps 16 per cent lighter, which the company said will trim 1.2 million kilograms from selective collection each year.

A series of projects related to the production of PET bottles will result in a reduction of 2,400 trucks on the road, the company said in a release last week.

Lassonde said it also plans to put “new production technologies” in place at the Rougemont plants and boost the size of its storage facilities there — “a growing need in light of (Lassonde’s) sustained production growth,” the company said.

In all, Lassonde said, the upgrades and expansions “will create up to 24 new jobs, improve the Rougemont facilities’ output and support their performance in a highly competitive market.”

Lassonde’s plants at Rougemont, about 45 km east of Montreal, “are the company’s very first facilities, and these investments will ensure that they remain on the cutting edge and maintain their key operational role,” Lassonde president Jean Gattuso said in the release.

Lassonde, he said, has “more than doubled our production operations and created hundreds of jobs in Rougemont” in the past 10 years.

The Quebec government has pledged a grant of $1.85 million toward these projects’ costs, Lassonde said.

Lassonde Industries, which runs a total of 14 plants in Canada and the U.S., makes and markets juices and drinks under brands such as Everfresh, Fairlee, Flavur, Fruite, Graves, Oasis and Rougemont. — AGCanada.com Network

Related story:
Fruit juice sales seen in decline, Aug. 16, 2012

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