Parmalat to shut Quebec mozza plant

Parmalat Canada plans to consolidate its Quebec cheese manufacturing at its Lactantia plant in Victoriaville, shown here. (Parmalat.com)

The Canadian arm of Italian dairy giant Parmalat plans to close a mozzarella processing plant near Montreal and consolidate its Quebec cheesemaking work at one major facility.

Parmalat said Thursday it will close its plant at Marieville, about 40 km east of Montreal, at the end of September.

A new production line for mozzarella will be installed in Parmalat’s plant at Victoriaville, about 60 km southeast of Trois-Rivieres, the company said.

The Victoriaville plant, “following significant investments, will become Parmalat’s sole cheese production facility in the province of Quebec,” Parmalat Canada’s vice-president of operations Jean-Paul Quiblier said in a release.

The decisions, he said, “will allow us to create 15 new jobs and keep the existing 410 jobs in Victoriaville.”

The 15 new jobs in Victoriaville will be offered to staff at Marieville who are “willing to be relocated,” the company said, while other Marieville staff will get support for “career transition.”

The Marieville closure will affect 92 staff in all, some of whom are eligible for retirement while others “could be eligible” for early retirement.

The Marieville and Victoriaville plants came to Parmalat through its takeovers, in 1997, of Beatrice Foods and Ault Foods respectively. The Victoriaville plant came to Ault when it bought the dairy firm Lactantia in 1986.

Parmalat had made investments and upgrades for cheese production at both sites in recent years, also including new whey processing equipment at Marieville and snack cheese production equipment at Victoriaville. — AGCanada.com Network

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