Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF) today announced a decision to close its Sacramento, California milk plant and move production from that facility to its San Leandro, California milk plant and the Berkeley Farms milk plant located in Hayward, California.

The closure will affect approximately 48 hourly and salaried employees at the Sacramento milk plant, and will result in a charge to fourth quarter earnings of approximately $3 million. All affected employees will receive a comprehensive outplacement program including severance, job counseling and extended health benefits.

“Consolidating operations is a necessary step for us to remain competitive within our fluid operations,” said Dick Bailey, President and Chief Operating Officer. “This move ensures our ability to continue to serve our customer base from other Dean plants while maximizing our cost competitiveness. This plant consolidation will result in substantially lower operating cost going forward.”

Dean Foods is one of the nation’s leading dairy processors and distributors producing a full line of branded and private label products, including fluid milk, ice cream and extended shelf life products, which are sold under the Dean’s and other strong regional brand names. Dean Foods is the industry leader in other food products including pickles, powdered non-dairy coffee creamers, aseptically packaged foodservice products, and refrigerated dips and salad dressings.

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By GlobalData