Brampton's Bacardi Facility Set to Close

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News recently broke that Bacardi Canada is shuttering its Brampton facility, an establishment that currently employs 51 workers.

While the news isn't coming as a shock to residents who watched the workforce in the plant shrink over the years, it has saddened some members of the overall community.

"For me, I am saddened to see Bacardi close. It was a large employer in Brampton and has been here for many years," Regional Councillor Martin Medeiros told inbrampton.com. [I'm saddened] especially for the workers who will be negatively impacted and their respective families."

Medeiros also added that the decision to close the facility was a difficult one.

"However, it is my understanding that it was running under capacity and this was a difficult business decision. As the location is very strategic and a prime location close to the highway off of Steeles, I hope whomever buys the plant will make a positive impact in the area and bring jobs to Brampton. The city of Brampton will work with the new business to ensure they can successfully establish [themselves]."

The news is also a little jarring in light of the fact that the federal and provincial governments announced that they were investing $350,000 in the plant as recently as May of 2016.

The investment was intended to help the rum maker upgrade equipment and design new packaging and labels.

"Having Bacardi Canada's bottling operation anchored in our province sends a clear signal to domestic and foreign markets that Ontario is a prime location where food and beverage processing companies can invest, expand and be successful," Jeff Leal, Ontario's minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said in a statement released last May.
Once bottling more than seven million litres of rum each year, the Brampton plant shipped the liquor to markets across Canada.

While the decision might not have been terribly unexpected, it has left other members of the community dismayed.

"Bacardi had a long history in Brampton," said Todd Letts, the CEO of the Brampton Board of Trade, in a statement to inbrampton.com. "The community has been very supportive. I toured the plant last year and met many skilled people. Bacardi’s decision is disappointing. Food and beverage is an emerging sector in Brampton. I hope that those employees impacted by the decision are able to find work in their field locally."

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