Diageo is to close its Dorval bottling plant in Quebec in what it describes as a "careful review" of the company's supply chain.

A spokesperson for Diageo told just-drinks today (23 October) that the plant will close in late February 2010, with the loss of all 65 staff. Production will move to a third party.

The Dorval facility has bottled Smirnoff Ice, Smirnoff Ice Triple Black and Smirnoff Twisted V flavours for Diageo's ready-to-drink (RTD) portfolio since it opened in 2003.

"This is a tough business decision, but one that will help Diageo remain highly competitive in a declining but profitable RTD segment in Canada and help ensure the long-term sustainability of the business and jobs for the future," said Mario Leduc, vice president for Diageo bottling operations in Canada.

Production will be moved to Delta Beverages in Woodbridge, Ontario.

"This will increase efficiencies and significantly lower costs in our supply chain while continuing to maintain our high-quality standards for Diageo's core line of ready-to-drink beverages," added Leduc.

Diageo said it will provide counselling and reclassification/outplacement services to its employees to support them during the changes.

Diageo Canada has wholly owned supply facilities in Valleyfield, Quebec, as well as in Amherstburg, Ontario and Gimli, Manitoba. Diageo also produces through third party agreements in Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta and New Brunswick.

Diageo last month pressed ahead with plans to cut around 10% of its workforce in Scotland, after rejecting an alternative business proposal put forward by ministers and trade unions.