ROTHSCHILD — Foremost Farms USA Cooperative announced on Monday that it has agreed to sell its Pharmaceutical Lactose business, located in Rothschild, to Kerry Biofunctional Ingredients, leading to a permanent layoff of 110 workers.
The layoffs will begin May 7, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
Foremost has had a longstanding relationship with Kerry through Kerry Group’s subsidiary, Sheffield Bio-Science. Foremost Farms, headquartered in Baraboo, and Sheffield Bio-Science, headquartered in Beloit, initially began a partnership in 2007 in which Sheffield managed the sales, marketing and technical support of Foremost Farms’ pharmaceutical-grade lactose products. The lactose is sold internationally under the Foremost and Fast Flo trademarks.
Kerry marketed those products worldwide.
Employees at the Rothschild plant told Wausau Pilot and Review they learned of the sale today and were told they would be required to reapply for their jobs when the sale becomes final in early May. But the DWD later confirmed the job loss is expected to be permanent.
The Rothschild plant produces about 36 million dry pounds of lactose each year.