Agropur and Farmers dairy co-operatives to merge
Published Monday, February 11, 2013 1:43PM AST
Last Updated Monday, February 11, 2013 6:05PM AST
A dairy in Nova Scotia is joining forces with a dairy in Quebec.
Farmers Co-operative Dairy Ltd. of Halifax and Agropur cooperative of Longueuil, Que., announced the merger today in a news release.
Farmers has been producing dairy products for 90 years, but the well-known brand is changing.
“Our new company will be Agropur in name, but the brand will remain here,” says Jeannie Van Dyk, chair of Farmers Dairy.
“The closure date is April 2. We have a shareholder meeting on March 12, at which point they will vote on the proposal.”
Agropur is owned by 33,000 Quebec-based dairy producers and generates $3.6 billion in yearly sales, while Farmers is controlled by 116 producers with annual sales of $176 million.
“By joining forces with a larger cooperative, which is also 100 per cent owned by dairy farmers in Quebec, we are stronger, able to reinvest here in Atlantic processing,” says Van Dyk.
But some employees are wondering whether the merger will lead to redundancies and subsequent layoffs.
“It’s been the kind of company that does look after its employees,” says Sheldon Rockwell, who has delivered milk for Farmers Dairy for 35 years.
Rockwell says he’s not nervous about the merger, but admits some workers will likely be braced for possible change.
“I can’t really know how it’s going to make a good company stronger but I do know everybody around here will be asking their own personal questions. What does it mean for them?”
Van Dyk says it’s too soon to predict how the merger could impact staffing but says Farmers will stay committed to processing milk in Nova Scotia.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Paul Hollingsworth