Global cheese giant chooses Oshawa’s Northwood Business Park for new distribution centre

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Published September 20, 2023 at 2:10 pm

The world’s number one dairy company is bringing the cheese to Oshawa with a 379,000 sq. ft. distribution centre at the Northwoods Business Park slated to open in late 2024.

Lactalis Canada, the company behind iconic brands such as Cracker Barrel, Black Diamond, Balderson, Astro and Lactantia, entered into a long-term lease for the facility Wednesday, which will be developed by Montreal-based Broccolini with construction to begin “immediately.”

The distribution centre, which will become the biggest in the Lactalis Group’s global portfolio, is expected to employ 80 people and will be used principally for its cheese and table spreads supply chain network.

French-based Lactalis Group, which was founded 90 years ago, is the world’s largest dairy group with 75,000 employees in 43 countries.

“The Greater Toronto Area is the optimal hub for this part of our supply chain network across Canada,” said Lactalis Canada Supply Chain Senior Vice-President Eric Sequin. “The Oshawa distribution centre is poised to meet the current needs and future demands of our business and customers, while its sustainable design will transform our network effectiveness and contribute to Lactalis Canada’s ESG agenda in reducing its carbon footprint.”

The facility will have the ability to store up to 60,000 pallets in both cooler and freezer environments in a building that is ‘zero-carbon ready’ with the potential to be Zero Carbon Building-certified. Heat generated from the refrigeration system will be fully reclaimed and used to heat the facility’s offices and the truck apron to melt snow for safety reasons.

The distribution centre will consolidate multiple shipping locations used to service the cheese and table spreads category into a central, modern facility to enable the company’s long-term growth, increase capacity and efficiency while enhancing service to the company’s customers.

The announcement also reinforces the company’s “commitment” and investment in Canada, noted Lactalis Canada CEO Mark Taylor.

The company employs more than 4,200 employees across 30 operating sites in Canada.

Oshawa Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri, who chairs the City’s Economic and Development Services Committee and will welcome the new distribution centre to his ward, said the announcement is another reason why Oshawa is on a record-breaking development and construction tear of late.

“Attracting the world’s largest and most renowned global dairy goods giant is something I am extremely proud of,” Marimpietri said.  “They are bringing well-paying employment, growing our prestige industrial base, and injecting substantial dollars into our metropolitan city and region.”

“Prestige employment lands such as Northwood Business Park with the projection of thousands of new jobs, are bringing unprecedented momentum to Oshawa as an economically diverse and thriving employment hub within the GTA; one that blue chip companies and AAA industrial tenants are being attracted to in a way not seen since the Industrial Revolution.”

Northwoods Business Park

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