Dean Foods Co. has announced it will shutter Denver’s Robinson Dairy, which was founded in 1885 and which Dean acquired during its merger with Dallas-based Suiza Foods more than a decade ago. The company also has been closing other regional operations and has spun off WhiteWave Foods, the natural and organic food company behind Silk soy-based milk alternative.
Dean, the largest milk distributor in the United States, plans to close between eight and a dozen dairy facilities by the middle of next year. The goal, company officials say, is increased efficiency. Berkeley Farms, Dean’s, Garelick Farms and Pet regional brands may be affected.
This latest announcement comes on the heels of the sale of Dean’s Morningstar Foods division to Saputo Inc. in January and June’s notice to plants in Louisiana, Texas and Virginia that they soon would be closing.
“Dean is faced with a declining share of the U.S. fluid milk market amid greater competition,” reports Mark Harden in the Denver Business Journal. “It also lost a large contract with Wal-Mart Stores recently.”
The company swung to an attributable loss of $56.9 million in its latest quarter from a profit of $56.2 million in the same quarter of 2012, Harden’s story notes.