MONTEVIDEO – Havana’s idea of building a powdered-milk plant in Uruguay to supply Cuba’s needs could help the South American country cope with the recent departure of two multinational dairy producers, Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said.
“Cuba was seeking to have a powdered milk plant for them here, in Uruguay. That could be one of the options,” Nin Novoa said after participating in a conference at the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Montevideo.
Last week, U.S.-based dairy company Schreiber informed the Uruguayan government that it plans to close its facility in San Jose province, near Montevideo.
Some 170 Schreiber workers will lose their jobs, while Uruguay’s milk output is set to decline by 250,000 liters (66,000 gallons) per day.
In February, Peru’s Gloria Group announced the closing of its Uruguayan subsidiary, Ecolat, and the elimination of 400 jobs.
Nin Novoa said that as an inter-ministerial commission works on plans to absorb the workers and substitute for the lost milk output, the Cuban proposal is under serious consideration.
Cuban President Raul Castro broached the idea when he visited Montevideo in March for the inauguration of Tabare Vazquez as Uruguay’s head of state.