ROUGEMONT, Que. – Juice maker Lassonde says a Quebec government grant will help fund a $19-million upgrade that includes adding two new production lines to make lighter plastic bottles.
The province is contributing $1.85 million to the project that will create 24 jobs and boost output.
Lassonde president Jean Gattuso says the total investment will ensure that its facilities in the apple-growing municipality of Rougemont east of Montreal will remain “on the cutting edge.’
The new production lines will make polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and caps that will be 16 per cent lighter than existing bottles. Lassonde says it will trim 1.2 million kilograms from recycling operations.
The company also plans to add new production technologies and increase the size of its storage facilities.
During the past decade, Lassonde (TSX:LAS.A) has more than doubled its production operations and created hundreds of jobs in Rougemont.
Founded in 1918, Lassonde makes fruit and vegetable juices and drinks marketed under brands such as Everfresh, Fairlee, Flavür, Fruite, Graves, Oasis and Rougemont. It is the second largest producer of juices and drinks in the United States.
Lassonde employs about 2,000 people, including 800 in Quebec, working in 14 plants across Canada and the United States.