Baskin-Robbins announced today its plans to close its Peterborough, Ontario manufacturing plant. Shifting ice cream production to other existing suppliers, specifically Scotsburn Dairy of Truro, Nova Scotia, the plant closure will affect 80 positions.
"We deeply regret the need to close the Peterborough plant, but the facility, which is already operating around the clock, is unable to keep up with the demands of our rapidly growing international business," said Peter Laport, Vice President, Global Strategic Manufacturing and Supply, Baskin-Robbins. "We have explored other options, but modernizing the facility and adding capacity are unfortunately not viable. We appreciate the dedication of our Peterborough employees and are committed to help them through this transition."
Of the 80 employees affected, approximately 15 positions will be eliminated by the end of July while remaining positions will be continually phased out as operations decline and the plant closes in mid-October. Forty-six Baskin-Robbins Peterborough plant employees are represented by the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union and Baskin-Robbins plans to work with the union throughout the plant closure.
Operations at Peterborough consist of producing ice cream for an approximately one-third of Baskin-Robbins. This includes providing ice cream to more than 4,200 shops outside of the US including Canada. Production of ice cream at Peterborough for locations outside of Canada will be transferred to Dean Foods.
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This move toward plant closure aligns with Baskin-Robbins' plans of turning its focus away from ice cream production, thus making operations within the company more focused on the innovation of ice cream flavors, managing a better supply chain and better ingredient sourcing opportunities.
"Peterborough is the only remaining manufacturing facility we operate in North America," said Laport. "We believe it makes sense to focus on our core skills of franchising, retail and product innovation, rather than ice cream production."
The plant closure is expected to cost a total of $4 million in 2012. By 2013, Baskin Robbins expects to receive an annual savings of $4-5 million as a result of the closure.