Canadian dairy giant Saputo will close its Saputo Cheese plant in Big Stone City during its third fiscal quarter of 2024. The Montreal-based company officially announced the decision on February 2 and stated two other plants — one in Green Bay, Wisconsin and one in South Gate, California — will also be affected in an attempt to streamline its manufacturing footprint in the U.S.
Green Bay and South Gate are slated to close in 2025. Over 150 jobs are expected to be eliminated in Big Stone City and 720 positions overall.
Saputo’s four-year “optimization” strategy, now in its second year, also includes an investment of $179.9 million (CAD240) in a facility in Franklin, Wisconsin, which is already under construction and set to open in 2025. The Franklin operation is expected to create around 600 jobs.
The company also has plans to convert its cut-and-wrap facility in Tulare, California, into a string-cheese plant to the tune of $66 million (CAD75m). It will then shut down its string-cheese site in South Gate, California, in 2025 and move those operations to Tulare.
Saputa is one of the top-10 dairy producers in the world with operations in Canada, the U.S..Australia, the U.K., and Argentina with revenues of over $10 billion (CAD14b) in 2021. The Big Stone City plant is its only facility in South Dakota.