The Citadelle cooperative has decided to permanently close its maple syrup processing plant in La Guadeloupe, in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, a measure that will result in the loss of 21 jobs.
The operations and equipment of La Guadeloupe will be transferred to the cooperation’s other maple syrup processing and bottling plant in Plessisville, in Center-du-Québec, where its head office is located.
“This decision was not taken with a cheerful disposition,” said Martin Plante, general manager of the cooperative, reached by phone, adding that dismissed employees are invited to apply for one of the 24 positions currently available elsewhere in the business.
Mr. Plante affirmed that this relocation is a “courageous move” which should ensure the profitability of operations in the long term “, given that the maple syrup market is very competitive. Raising the prices of the product under these conditions is almost impossible, he said.
“We haven’t been able to absorb the inflation in the price of materials with sales for five years. In addition, we had to maintain two factories for processing syrup, while there is room to centralize everything in Plessisville, ”said Mr. Plante. The company also wants to automate part of its activities in the coming years to increase its earnings.
The Citadelle cooperative has existed for 95 years. It has sales of $ 165 million and employs 250 people. It is made up of 1,500 producing families who make up its members in the fields of maple syrup, honey and cranberries.