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The Bel Group to invest $87mn to build its first Mini Babybel cheese factory in Canada

The Quebec plant will be the cheese marketer's first in Canada, creating around 170 jobs.

The Bel Group has announced that it is going to spend $87mn to build a factory to produce its Mini Babybel cheese snacks in Quebec.

The French cheese marketer said that the plant in Sorel-Tracey, Quebec, will be its first Canadian production facility. 

"Bel has been marketing its products in Canada since 1957, and we know the local dairy sector's expertise. With this new plant, we are becoming a full-fledged Quebec dairy processor," said Catherine Thomas, President of Bel Canada.

Today, the cheese snacks, which are encased in red wax, are currently imported.

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With commercial production scheduled to begin in early 2020, the project aims to create 170 jobs between the plant in Sorel-Tracy and Bel Canada’s Montreal head office.

It will also contribute to the growing demand for Canadian milk by using Canadian ingredients to produce the cheese snacks.

"This cheese is currently imported and will soon be produced with 100% Canadian milk,” added Bruno Letendre, Chair of Les Producteurs de lait du Québec.

“This is good news for local dairy producers. This investment will generate employment and much-needed economic benefits in our regions.”

The move comes as part of Bel Canada’s strategy to grow its local manufacturing capability to strengthen its position in the Canadian market.

The Bel Group currently has around 12,700 employees in some 30 subsidiaries across the world.