Covid-19: Dairy co-operative Agropur is restructuring

Around 260 Canadian employees will be affected

Canadian dairy business Agropur is reviewing its operations and cutting jobs, in light of the Covid-19 crisis.

The co-op says it will eliminate certain positions and temporarily lay off some employees who are not assigned to essential operational duties.

The restructure will affect 260 Canadian employees, who represent 3% of Agropur’s global workforce of 8,800. On 2 April the co-op announced that 60 positions were being eliminated and 200 employees were being temporarily laid off.

“These are difficult decisions to make but they are necessary in order to maintain the sustainability of our business,” said CEO Émile Cordeau. “Our goal is to bring the temporarily laid-off employees back to work as soon as we can resume the normal course of business. A support team has been set up to help the employees who will be leaving the organisation transition and guide them through the process of applying for the government support programmes.”

The co-op says it has also taken measures to protect the health and safety of its employees and adopted a business continuity plan to ensure it can continue delivering high-quality dairy products to its customers and consumers.

Responding to the pandemic, Agropur has provided staff detailed guidelines regarding travel restrictions, telework, hygiene, disinfection, and mandatory reporting of illness while access control at all sites for all employees, suppliers and visitors has been toughened.

Agropur runs 37 plants across North America. The business, which is owned by 3,024 dairy farmers, reported sales on CA$7.3bn (£4.19bn) in 2019.