Bacardi Canada will close down and sell its Brampton bottling plant in the coming months, which will end a five-decade presence in the city.
In an official statement to The Guardian, the organization said it told its representatives on Feb. 9 that they made the “difficult decision” to end operations at the office on Steeles Avenue East after a review of market needs.
In total 51 workers will lose their jobs when the plant closes and the company says it’s offering a support program to them through severance packages, advising and access to a specialized consultant to help them find a new job.
Of the laborers, 47 had positions in blending, handling and bottling and four kitchen workers are likewise affected.
“Bacardi carefully considered all other options before making this decision, which was necessary due to the changing business environment over many years in Canada and the importance of increasing efficiency to ensure the company’s future competitiveness,” said the statement.
The organization plans to offer the Brampton site for sale and will move to another office location in the Toronto area. They said the factory shutdown won’t influence Bacardi supply in Canada.
66% of Brampton’s production will be transferred to the company’s office in Jacksonville, Florida. The rest, which represents products sold exclusively in Canada, will go to a Canadian co-packer.
In the meantime, the declaration of the conclusion comes in a less than a year after Bacardi Canada was granted a government grant worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the plant’s operations. Last May, Jeff Leal – Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs – reported that $350,000 was reserved for the company through the government/provincial program Growing Forward 2.
“Having Bacardi Canada’s bottling operation anchored in our province sends a clear signal to domestic and foreign markets that Ontario is a prime location where food and beverage processing companies can invest, expand and be successful,” Leal said at the time.
Bacardi was relied upon to utilize the money to upgrade hardware and deliver packaging produced using recycled materials.
The Brampton plant makes more than seven million liters of rum for the Canadian market every year. Bacardi Canada has been situated in Brampton since 1969.