Land O'Lakes Announces Realignment of Eastern Wisconsin Operations

May 01, 2014, 14:05 ET from Land O'Lakes, Inc.

ARDEN HILLS, Minn., May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Land O'Lakes, Inc., today announced a realignment of its Eastern Wisconsin milk supply strategy, including a multi-year investment in the milk shed that includes increasing capacity at its Kiel, Wis., plant, known for its award-winning cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese production. The company also announced plans to discontinue manufacturing the semi-soft Italian cheese produced at its Denmark, Wis. plant.

"Wisconsin is a key growth area for Land O'Lakes, and decisions such as this will help us achieve our aggressive growth goals," said Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O'Lakes, Inc.  "The investments at our Kiel plant will provide our members with increased opportunities to grow production in this critical region for our company."

As part of the realignment, the company is making a multi-million dollar investment to increase capacity and expand receiving at its Kiel plant through improvements in plant infrastructure. Among the improvements at the Kiel facility will be new milk silos, new cheese vats, upgraded whey receiving and a new vat room.

The company also announced the difficult decision to discontinue manufacturing the provolone and mozzarella semi-soft Italian cheese products currently produced at the Denmark plant, which had not been profitable in recent years. The plant will cease production and permanently close July 1, 2014. Member milk that was shipped to the Denmark facility will be sold to an unrelated third party beginning July 1.

Today's announcement follows a long review to determine the best strategy to maximize growth opportunities and expand market access for the company's member owners and builds on the company's plans to drive smart, focused growth and strategy to drive overall performance through constant evaluation of all segments of the business.

The total planned investment was not released.

Land O'Lakes, Inc., one of America's premier agribusiness and food companies, is a member-owned cooperative with industry-leading operations that span the spectrum from farm production to consumer foods. With 2013 annual sales of more than $14 billion, Land O'Lakes is one of the nation's largest cooperatives, ranking 194 on the Fortune 500. Building on a legacy of more than 93 years of operation, Land O'Lakes today operates some of the most respected brands in agribusiness and food production including LAND O LAKES® Dairy Foods, Purina Animal Nutrition and WinField. The company does business in all 50 states and more than 60 countries. Land O'Lakes, Inc,. corporate headquarters are located in Arden Hills, Minn.

SOURCE Land O'Lakes, Inc.