APPLETON, WI — On Oct. 4, Agropur formally announced the expansion of its facility in Little Chute, WI. Agropur is building a new state-of-the-art facility to meet growing market demand and significantly increase its production of cheese and dairy ingredients.
“Having a new state-of-the-art facility in Little Chute will help us solidify our leadership position in the dairy industry. 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. With this new plant, we’re increasing production capacity so Agropur can help its clients live up to their brand promises,” says Doug Simon, President, US Operations, Agropur.
The $168 million investment is Agropur’s second-largest ever in the United States, after the expansion of the Lake Norden, SD facility in 2018.
“The announcement of this significant investment highlights our commitment to modernize our asset base in both Canada and the United States and expand our cheese manufacturing activities in the U.S. Midwest. 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,” says Émile Cordeau, CEO of Agropur.
The innovative facility with an area of more than 210,000 square feet will increase capacity and expand Agropur’s production of cheese and ingredients. In addition, the project will involve construction of a cutting-edge waste-water treatment facility that will generate energy, supporting our sustainability efforts.
The new plant will be built just north of Agropur’s existing Little Chute facility at 2701 Freedom Road. The facility’s milk processing volume should more than double, from 300 million pounds to 750 million pounds per year. The expanded plant is expected to be fully operational by early 2023.
54 new high-paying jobs, increased milk demand and $100 million in local economic spin-offs
With sales of approximately US$5.7 billion, Agropur has grown to become the fifth-largest producer of cheese and dairy ingredients in the United States and one of the 20 largest dairy processors in the world. With this new ultramodern facility, Agropur will create up to 54 new high-skilled and well-paying jobs for local workers. Employees will have the opportunity to be trained in new skills and to continue growing within the organization. Given the current labour shortage, recruiting activities will be key in the months prior to the commissioning of the plant.
The Little Chute expansion will also lead to a significant increase in milk demand from local farms that supply Agropur. Wisconsin is the state with the most dairy farms, 6,700 to be exact, and the dairy industry has considerable economic weight in the state. The dairy industry contributes more than $45 billion to the American economy each year. It is with great pride that Agropur continues to be involved in the community and participates in the economic development of the region.
The construction itself will have a significant economic impact on the Fox Valley area. It is projected that, as a result of this project, over $100M will flow directly or indirectly to Wisconsin suppliers and subcontractors for concrete, tradespeople, materials, project management, packaging, transportation, etc.
Agropur inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Agropur Cooperative, a North American dairy industry leader founded in 1938. With sales of $5,7 billion (USD) in 2020, Agropur is a source of pride to 2,974 members and 7,700 employees who pursue its vision every day: “Better dairy. Better world.” Agropur processes more than 13 billion pounds of milk per year at its 32 plants across North America, including 1.6 billion gallons of milk per year at its 9 plants in the United States. www.agropur.com