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UPDATED: Scotsburn company pulling out of namesake community

The company may still be called Scotsburn, but it will no longer be based there.

Scotsburn Co-operative Limited announced today (Friday) that it is centralizing management and administration close to its largest ice cream and novelty production facility in Truro.

Earlier this year, Scotsburn decided to focus exclusively on its growing ice cream and novelty business by selling its fluid milk division to Saputo. To implement this growth strategy effectively, Scotsburn Chief Executive Officer Doug Ettinger said it makes good business sense to bring together as many employees as possible around its major ice cream production facility in Truro.

“As Scotsburn pursues new growth opportunities across Canada and the United States, focusing our administration in one location will best position our organization, as well as the local dairy farmers and our co-operative members, for continued success,” Ettinger said.

Once Scotsburn has completed centralizing its management and administration activities, approximately 230 Scotsburn employees will be working closely as an integrated team in Truro.

Eighteen positions at Scotsburn offices in Dartmouth, Scotsburn and St. John’s NL, were transferred to Truro over the past several months. The remaining 11 positions at the co-operative’s office in Scotsburn will be transferred to Truro over the next few months. 

County Coun. Robert Parker said during a recent meeting that he concerned about the lack of people working out of the Scotsburn office lately because he knows from his experience with the local school board that Pictou County will be on the losing end in the future.

He said it is good that Pictou County people are being offered employment in Colchester County, but after these local people retire or find other employment, the jobs left there are usually filled by people from Colchester because of travel concerns.

“It’s sad to see the last few jobs in Scotsburn gone and having the building basically emptied out,” he said. “It’s been a slow demise. There were a lot of jobs there and now they are all gone.”

Parker said he is concerned despite the work being done by Advocate Inc. president Sean Murray on boosting the local economy.

“I am asking that we look at setting up a group to help promote the economy of the county by working with other councils,” he said. “I don’t see a lot happening despite being told that there is a lot happening.”

He said more industrial parks are being built in the county, including one in partnership between the county and the Town of New Glasgow, but he would like to hear more from Frank MacFarlane, the town and county’s business development officer, on what plans are for the area.

Parker said with the recent drop in oil prices, there are also fewer people working in western Canada this winter that will put more of a strain on the local economy.

“A lot of people aren’t going out west and some people are coming back,” he said. “The same amount of money will not be flowing back into our economy.”

Council agreed to discuss the issue further at its finance committee meeting on Dec. 17.

“We need to work with the Vision 20/20 group and Mr. Murray’s group and some elected officials need to be involved,” he said. “We need to do everything we can to get some economic activity in this county.”

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