Canadian dairy company closing Belmont cheese-making facility, shifting production at Reedsburg plant

Saputo Facility In Belmont Wisconsin
Courtesy of QueenB Radio

BELMONT, Wis. — Saputo, a cheese and dairy products company based in Montréal, Canada, announced last week plans to shutter its goat cheese facility in Belmont as part of a restructuring plan for its U.S.-based production facilities.

The Belmont closure is expected to impact roughly 200 employees.

According to a press release from the company, its mozzarella cheese-making facility in Reedsburg will transition to goat cheese production, which company leaders said will allow them to produce more goat cheese than possible at the Belmont facility.

Employees at the Belmont facility will be provided with financial support including severance, according to the release; it’s unclear if any of the Belmont employees will be offered positions at the Reedsburg facility.

Saputo plans to invest CDN$45 million (roughly $35 million in U.S. currency) for the Reedsburg conversion project. Mozzarella production originally running out of the Reedsburg facility will be transferred to other Saputo facilities around the U.S., per the release.

Lino A. Saputo — the company’s board chair, president and CEO — said the restructuring is part of Saputo’s efforts to consolidate its U.S. operations and reduce costs.

“The latest series of investments and consolidation activities will strengthen the competitiveness and long-term performance of our cheese operations in our USA Sector, while increasing efficiency and productivity,” Saputo said.

Changes to the cheese-making facilities in Wisconsin are expected to start in the second quarter of the 2023 fiscal year and are expected to take up to 18 months to finalize.