Lactalis Group’s Canadian subsidiary has unveiled plans to convert its Sudbury facility into a dedicated plant-based production hub.
The move is hoped to propel the company’s growth in the dairy alternatives segment, complementing current products such as Sensational Soy, Lactantia margarine and siggi’s coconut-based yogurt alternative. The decision was further motivated by Ontario’s low-demand, high-cost fluid milk market, which has affected Sudbury’s profitability.
Mark Taylor, president and CEO of Lactalis Canada, commented: “While our core business is dairy, as an innovation leader and as demonstrated by our forthcoming expansion into plant-based, we are constantly following the consumer and continually seeking opportunities to innovate and respond to the market.
“Our purpose is to enrich and nurture the lives of Canadians and this holds the same for our new offering which will provide consumers with complementary high-quality plant-based products that will benefit from our current capacity and capabilities as well as our rich and long-standing dairy expertise.”
Lactalis Canada will fully cease liquid milk production and processing in Sudbury on September 30, 2022, transferring these activities to other Ontario and Quebec plants with no disruption to customers. A spokesperson declined to confirm when exactly building work will commence at Sudbury, but this is expected to happen 'over the coming months'. It is unclear when the plant will become operational again, although Lactalis Canada will retain its refrigerated warehouse in Sudbury, along with the majority of its employees.
“We assure all consumers and customers that there will be no disruption to product supply or service as milk processing from Sudbury will transfer to Lactalis Canada's other fluid plants in Ontario and Quebec,” added Taylor. “Dairy will always remain an essential and economical part of a balanced, healthy diet and as such, we are committed to continuing to make products that are available and accessible for all Canadians.”