Arden Hills,/PRNewswire -- Land O'Lakes Inc. 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.
The 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.