May 25, 2018
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Garelick Farms to close Hermon, Caribou distribution facilities

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Garelick Farms is consolidating its operations and will close distribution facilities for its dairy products in Hermon and Caribou, a corporate spokesman said Tuesday.

Product distribution in Maine will be contracted through a third-party distributor, according to Jamaison Schuler, spokesman for Garelick’s Texas-based parent company, Dean Foods. He declined to identify the new distributer.

“We regret the impact that this decision will have on our employees and our communities,” he said.

“The decision to eliminate jobs in any part of our business is never an easy one,” Schuler said. “The decision to discontinue distribution in these locations does not reflect the quality of work performed by our employees but the competitive nature of the marketplace. “

Schuler said that 30 employees — 26 of them working at Garelick Farms facility in Hermon and another four working in Caribou — will be affected by the consolidation and that the new distributor indicated that it intends to hire most of them.

“Impacted employees will still receive a severance even if they are employed again by the new company,” he said, adding that the transition likely will be completed in early October.

The distribution facilities in Hermon and Caribou are not the first to be closed by Dean Foods.

In October 2012, the company announced plans to close it production facility in Bangor, effective in January of 2013. It cited competitive pressures as the reason for that shutdown, which resulted in the layoff of 35 employees.

The Bangor facility predominantly produced fluid milk, Schuler said at that time. Its production capacity was shifted to the company’s three remaining production plants in Franklin; Lynn, Massachusetts; and Rensselaer, New York.

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