Agropur to shed bulk milk handling in Quebec, Nova Scotia

Unnamed buyers to take over Quebec milk runs

Screengrab from a 2019 video profiling a day in the life of an Agropur bulk milk grader. (Agropur Cooperative via YouTube)

Dairy co-operative Agropur is stepping away from hauling farmers’ milk in two of the provinces where it does business.

The Quebec company announced Monday it would sell its Quebec bulk milk hauling business to unnamed “companies whose core business is transporting liquid food products,” and would also halt its milk transport work in Nova Scotia.

But Agropur, in its release Monday, emphasized it “is continuing its milk transport operations in New Brunswick.”

The Quebec sale is expected to affect about nine per cent of the milk produced by Agropur members in that province, and to eliminate up to 11 jobs “upon closing of the transaction.” The company didn’t give an expected closing date.

Another 75 Quebec jobs, meanwhile, will be transferred to the unnamed “acquirers.” The deal also includes the affected bulk milk transport assets.

In Nova Scotia, meanwhile, Agropur plans to discontinue its farm pickup operations as of June 30, eliminating 34 jobs.

Effective July 1, Dairy Farmers of Nova Scotia (DFNS) said it has “designated new agents” to pick up milk from member farms.

DFNS, in an April 15 notice, named those milk transport agents as Fisher Transport Ltd. and Burghardt Transport Ltd., which it described as “well-established Nova Scotian transport companies with recognized expertise in milk hauling.”

“To streamline its business model and focus on its most strategic assets, Agropur is withdrawing from milk hauling in those two provinces,” Agropur CEO Emile Cordeau said in Monday’s release.

“I would like to thank all employees in this sector affected by this decision. They have been and will be until the conclusion of the transactions, important standard-bearers of the co-operative on the roads and with dairy farmers in these two provinces.”

DFNS chairman Gerrit Damsteegt said the organization thanks Agropur “for their excellent service over the years and for their co-operation in the transition. We will work hard to make sure the changeover goes smoothly for Nova Scotia dairy farmers.” — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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