US retailer Winn-Dixie Stores has announced plans to sell two of its dairies to Southeast Milk, one of the largest dairy co-ops in Florida.

The two dairies, based in Plant City, Florida and Hammond, Louisiana, will both remain in full production and Winn-Dixie employees working in the plants will become employers of SMI at the close of sale.

Winn-Dixie president, CEO and chairman of the board, Peter Lynch said: "The sale of our dairies is in the company's best interest as we continue to sharpen our focus on the retail operation of our business."

Upon completion of the transaction, Winn-Dixie will operate only one manufacturing plant, its private-label Chek Cola plant located in Fitzgerald, Georgia.

Winn-Dixie operates 521 stores in the south-east of the US.