California Dairies Inc. (CDI), Visalia, Calif., said it will cease operations at its Los Banos, Calif., manufacturing facility on March 17, 2018. The entire facility will close, affecting approximately 63 employees.
In conjunction with the closure, CDI said it will exit the cream cheese and Neufchatel cheese businesses, which have been served solely by the Los Banos facility. CDI will continue to operate its five other manufacturing facilities; 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,” said CEO Andrei Mikhalevsky. “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,” he added. “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 facility will ramp down operations over a 60-day period. CDI said it will work closely with impacted employees to assist them and their families with the transition. CDI will also work with existing customers to enable a smooth transition in the areas of finished goods supply, packaging inventories and, where feasible, forward pack of finished goods.
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 California Dairies Inc. CDI said it continues to have a significant presence not only in California, but also throughout the United States and globally.