California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), Visalia, Calif., announced plans to cease operations at its Los Banos, Calif., manufacturing facility March 17, affecting approximately 63 employees.

In conjunction with the closure, CDI will exit the cream cheese and Neufchatel business, which was served solely by the Los Banos facility. CDI will continue to operate its five other manufacturing facilities, and no other product segments will be affected.

“We deeply regret the impact this decision will have on our Los Banos employees and the community, and are committed to supporting our employees through this transition,” says Andrei Mikhalevsky, chief executive officer. “The Los Banos plant has been a valued facility with a long history that has served California Dairies and its members well. Unfortunately, the declining volume of milk in California is affecting the entire dairy industry, and CDI is not immune. These reduced milk volumes, combined with the high cost of operating our Los Banos facility, are the sole drivers behind the decision. This decision is in no way a reflection on the hard work of our talented employees in Los Banos or the high-quality products they have produced.”

The Los Banos manufacturing facility has been in operation since 1925, where it was first operated as part of San Joaquin Valley Dairymen, before merging with Danish Creamery and California Milk Producers in 1999 to become CDI.