May 28, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Millions of cheese byproducts are thrown away

Millions of cheese byproducts are thrown away

After two million liters of milk were thrown away last month, a strike by 250 workers at the Agropur plant in Granby wasted millions of dollars in cheese by-products.

After the strike began on June 29 at the Agropur plant in Granby, producers were forced to throw away more than two million liters of milk.

They have since been able to sell their milk to other factories in Ontario and Quebec, but they still lose some of the cheese by-products that some of these factories cannot process.

“We don’t throw it into the environment, it’s biomethanized. These are losing revenue to producers. We’re talking about millions of dollars,” laments Daniel Goebel, president of the Produces de Light du Québec (PLQ).

Francis Hallin

“We are forced to buy by-products from some factories like buttermilk,” explained Mr. Goebel, who wrote yesterday to Agropur’s president and the factory’s union president.

For Daniel Chaput, union president at the Granby plant, the ball is in Agropur’s camp, which touts work-family balance.

“Employees want to forget about their families and be available 40 hours a week, 24 hours a day,” explains the man, who has worked at the factory for 42 years, pointing to the factory behind him.

When asked to mop up the food waste, Daniel Chaput said he regretted it and suggested a maintenance party.

“We took a strike vote in April. We left on June 29. The owner knows something is going to happen,” replied the cheese analyst, who wanted a quick deal on principle.

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at LogHe argued: In the face of labor shortages, Agropur must do more to avoid losing its workers, in the case of a dozen colleagues, who have already found what they need elsewhere.

“There are people who get bored,” he warned.

At Agropur, we also say we are “concerned about waste”.

“We are aware of the pressure on milk producers in this dispute. They are our members and co-owners,” asserts its VP, Corporate Communications, Myleene Duperre.

“We want a quick return to work and a continuation of negotiations to find a fair and equitable deal,” she adds.

At the Granby plant, wages ranged from $29.07 to $32.48 an hour, the co-op recalled. It is argued that this is in addition to benefits and up to six weeks of leave.