U.S. dairies fuel Agropur growth
Agropur said it achieved its highest sales and earnings (before patronage dividends) in its history: $3.1 billion and $138 million, respectively, during the year ended October 31, 2009.
Agropur also strengthened its U.S. presence with three acquisitions: the Schroeder Milk dairy, in Minnesota, in December 2008; a dairy in Grand Rapids, Mich., in September 2009; and the Green Meadows Foods cheese plant, in Hull, Iowa, in December 2009. Officials noted that cooperative now employs close to 800 people at six plants in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
"On an annualized basis, Agropur's operations outside of Canada represent between $750 and 800 million in sales, or approximately one-quarter of our revenues. According to our forecasts, in 2010, our U.S. cheese facilities should produce 50 percent more cheese than our Canadian cheese plants, and twice as much within a few years," stated Agropur's Chief Executive Officer Pierre Claprood.
"Agropur is focused resolutely on its growth, buoyed by its cooperative values, its dedicated employees and its innovative products," added Chairman Serge Riendeau. "The organization is well positioned to take advantage of global growth in the dairy sector, and is taking steps to establish solid foundations both at home and abroad."
Founded in 1938, Agropur cooperative is a market leader in the Canadian dairy industry. It has 3,533 members and 5,225 employees at 27 plants and numerous distribution centres and offices across Canada, the U.S. and Argentina.
It processes 3.1 billion litres of milk on an annualized basis and offers an array of products, including such brands as Quebon, Oka, Sealtest, Natrel, Island Farms, Yoplait, La Lacteo, Trega and Schroeder.