Canadian dairy coop Agropur to boost US production capacty with US$168m investment in new facility

USA – Canadian dairy cooperative Agropur is expanding its US operations with the building a new facility in Little Chute, Wisconsin, as it looks to boost its production of cheese and dairy ingredients. 

The cooperative is investing US$168 million into the project which is located just north of Agropur’s existing Little Chute facility. 

“Having a new state-of-the-art facility in Little Chute will help us solidify our leadership position in the dairy industry,” said Doug Simon, president, US operations, Agropur. 

“Beyond speed and efficiency, the new processes and equipment will provide greater flexibility and will allow Agropur to offer a broader line of products to meet our customers’ needs.” 

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With an area of more than 210,000 square feet, the new facility – said to be Agropur’s second largest in the US – is expected to create up to 54 new jobs for local workers. 

The project also involves the construction of a waste-water treatment facility that will generate energy, supporting Agropur’s sustainability efforts. 

Wisconsin farmers surrounding the Little Chute facility stand to benefit from the expansion as it will enable the Canadian dairy to take an additional US$60 million worth of milk from their farms. 

Speaking during the project’s inauguration, Gov. Tony Evers said the state will provide US$4.5 million in tax credits to support the company’s expansion. 

A statement from the Governor’s office revealed that the tax credits granted by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. will be distributed over the next four years if Agropur meets hiring and capital expenditure goals.

Agropur said that the construction work itself will have a significant economic impact on the Fox Valley area, with more than US$100m flowing directly or indirectly to Wisconsin suppliers and subcontractors.   

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“The announcement of this significant investment highlights our commitment to modernise our asset base in both Canada and the United States and expand our cheese manufacturing activities in the US Midwest,” said Émile Cordeau, CEO of Agropur. 

“It pursues the vision behind other major projects we have carried out, such as the Lake Norden plant, which has already reached record production levels in recent months.” 

The expanded plant is expected to be fully operational by early 2023, more than doubling Agropur’s milk processing volume in Chute should, from 300m pounds to 750m pounds per year. 

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