Saputo to close New London plant

The Saputo cheese plant in New London is seen, March 26, 2014. (WLUK/Alex Ronallo)
The Saputo cheese plant in New London is seen, March 26, 2014. (WLUK/Alex Ronallo)

NEW LONDON - A major employer in New London will close its doors.

For more than 60 years, this plant has been a fixture in New London. As of August 23rd it will no longer produce Swiss cheese for Saputo.

"We've got some great cheese makers here and we're going to miss that," said Mayor Gary Henke who told FOX 11 he's sad to hear Saputo will shut down this plant, saying, "We're very disappointed to hear it, although it's not unexpected. They have been cutting production in the area over the past 6 months."

The Canada-based cheese company announced Wednesday it will close four plants, including this location. The others are in Maryland and Canada.

Saputo says the facilities are too old to update to modern standards. The move is expected to save 5 million dollars yearly.

But Henke told us it will be a real loss for New London.

"It's quite a few jobs and they spend their money here in town. So it's going to affect a lot of people," Henke said, none more so than those who will lose their jobs.

"We will do everything we can to possibly help them out, help them find other jobs, other job training, whatever," the mayor said.

Henke told the city will likely look for a new employer to fill the void.

Saputo did not respond to our requests for comment and employees we spoke with say the company told them not to do any media interviews.

Saputo still has five plants and a distribution center in our area.