Agropur, Canada's largest dairy co-op, is to stop production at a site in Ontario to improve its competitiveness.

The company said production at its Sudbury facility will end in January next year, with the loss of 30 jobs.

Agropur will keep warehousing, distribution and sales functions at the Sudbury site but blamed "numerous forces beyond its control" for the end of production there.

"Closing the dairy processing activities in this plant is strictly a business decision. In order to remain competitive, Agropur must ensure that all of its operations are profitable and efficient," explained Serge Paquette, president of Agropur's Natrel division. "The co-operative evaluates its plants on an ongoing basis with the aim to maintain operational efficiency, particularly in an increasingly competitive market."

Agropur generates around C$3.1bn in annual sales and has 26 plants in Canada producing branded dairy products like Sealtest, Natrel and Québon.