Conflict at Agropur in Granby: the milk carrier puzzle


Conflict at Agropur in Granby: the headache for milk transporters

Producers sometimes have to wait for transporters for several hours.

Pausing production activities the Agropur plant in Granby due to a labor dispute is causing headaches for milk transporters.

Over the past few days, producers have been forced to throw away their milk for lack of a place to send it for processing. This situation has forced a complete reorganization of the milk transport network to avoid waste.

The other provinces can be called upon, such as our immediate neighbour, Ontario, as well as Témiscamingue, where there is a processing plant. Several units can be mobilized to cover great distances. It requires additional equipment because it takes about 20 hours to make the round trip to make the delivery, explains the general manager of the Association des transporters de lait du Québec, Luc Bournival.

For the 72 transport companies that collect 85% of the milk produced in Quebec, this means longer and inevitably more expensive journeys, since the Granby plant, which received approximately 800,000 liters of milk per day, does not ;is more accessible.

Producers sometimes have to wait several hours longer than before to see their milk leave the farm.

Karine Moreau, a producer from Compton, even learned at the very last minute on Friday that her milk would be sent to the processor. It had produced 4000 liters while its storage capacity is 5000 liters. If the truck hadn't come by this morning, she likely would have been forced to dump her production.

Since there is a possibility that a foodstuff will be thrown away, we really hope that the duration of the strike will not be unlimited, but limited to a certain time.

As for the negotiations, they would progress with difficulty according to the union of employees, affiliated to the CSD. Members claim to have indicated to management that the employees were ready to return to work if the employer withdrew its request to extend hours. However, they would not have obtained any feedback from the bosses so far and are therefore continuing the unlimited general strike.

Currently, it is the milk producers who assume since we, we are a service provider to milk producers. We have a remuneration based on a pricing formula. So it is the milk producers who support the whole operation, says Mr. Bournival.


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