CANADA – French dairy giant Lactalis Group, through its Canadian subsidiary, has revealed plans to merge the liquid milk production operations as it moves to establish a dedicated plant-based production hub in the country.

The company hopes the business transition would propel its 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 long-term volume declines and increased costs in the fluid milk market in Ontario that have led to decreased profitability and economic sustainability of Lactalis Canada’s fluid operations in Sudbury.

As a result, 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.

The operation transfer is set to allow the commencement of the construction work at the Sudbury site into a dedicated plant-based production hub.

Although it is unclear when the site will be back in operation, Lactalis Canada will continue to operate its refrigerated warehouse in Sudbury and will retain the majority of its workforce during the transition period.

In a statement, the company speculates the new production facility will create additional employment opportunities as well as be essential for its future growth

Mark Taylor, president, and CEO of Lactalis Canada stated: “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.”

Taylor added that as the company is committed to continuing to make products available and accessible for all Canadians through the planned expansion move, he assures all consumers and customers that there will be no disruption to product supply or service.

Lactalis Nestlé adopts recycled polyethylene bottles in packaging chilled dairy products

Meanwhile, Lactalis Nestlé, a common business between Nestlé S.A and Lactalis in the chilled dairy sector in Europe, has incorporated up to 30% recycled polyethylene (PE) content into some of its dairy product bottles using ISCC PLUS certified recycled material from Repsol’s advanced recycling process.

Since June this year, Lactalis Nestlé claims it has been using 30% recycled PE in its Nestlé Kefir range bottles produced in Guadalajara for Spain and Portugal, as well as 10% recycled PE in its Yoggi brand drinking yogurt bottles marketed in Portugal.

According to the joint venture, the entire value chain, from Repsol as a supplier of the material, through to Logoplaste, the manufacturer of the bottles in the Lactalis Nestlé factory in Guadalajara, and Lactis Nestlé itself, which oversees the filling of the bottles, has the ISCC PLUS certification.

The reportedly certified ISCC PLUS mass balance approach is a measure to ensure traceability of the recycled materials used throughout the process.

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