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Agropur Cheese

Slabs of mozzarella cheese sit on a conveyor belt Jan. 18 at Agropur in Jerome.

JEROME — Agropur Cooperative, the owner of Jerome Cheese Co., will soon have a new CEO, the cooperative announced Thursday.

Émile Cordeau will take the position effective Oct. 15, the Quebec-based co-op said.

Robert Coallier, who has been CEO since 2012, will retire from the cooperative on Dec. 31 to allow time for a smooth handover and to support Cordeau during the transition period, the co-op said in a statement.

Cordeau joined the cooperative in 2013, most recently working as senior vice president and chief financial officer.

“We are very pleased that Émile has agreed to take the helm of the organization and continue his career with us,” said cooperative President Roger Massicotte. “His deep knowledge of the Cooperative, his talent and leadership skills make him the ideal candidate for the position. I thank Robert from the bottom of my heart for his dedication over the past eight years. Under his leadership, Agropur expanded into the United States and became an industry leader.”

Jerome Cheese is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Agropur, which was founded in 1938 and is one of the top 20 dairy processors in the world. With sales of $6.7 billion in 2018, Agropur has 3,161 members and 8,800 employees at 39 plants across North America.

Agropur’s Jerome plant, which it acquired in 2014, is one of the largest producers of cheese in the U.S., making 235 million pounds — blocks of mozzarella, cheddar, provolone and American — per year. It is one of largest employers in the Jerome County.

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