Foremost Farms USA will close down two Wisconsin cheese plants and move some of its production to other facilities as a part of an efficiency plan announced last week. The Baraboo-based cooperative says it will idle its Alma Center and Waumandee facilities and integrate cheese production to their Appleton, Richland Center, Milan and Marshfield facilities.
The move is part of an effort to consolidate the company's cheese manufacturing capacity and capitalize on recent investments in its processing network.
Foremost Farms President Dave Fuhrmann says the plants will close on June 30. The Alma Center operation produces mozzarella cheese for foodservice markets. The closing will result in the loss of 52 jobs. About 50 employees will be indefinitely laid off at the Waumandee plant which produces American-style cheese.
"We recognize that this decision has a significant impact on the Alma Center and Waumandee employees and these local communities," Fuhrmann said. "Our employees are very dedicated and experienced, and we are working to ease the transition as much as possible by offering severance packages to the individuals who are permanently losing their jobs. The impacted employees can apply for limited openings at other Foremost Farms facilities."
Foremost Farms is currently evaluating sustainable product mix opportunities that will be a good fit for Waumandee's modern infrastructure.
Milk from Foremost Farms' member-farms will be directed to other dairy plants owned by cooperative. There will be no changes in terms of milk pick-up, sampling, testing or field service.