USA – B&G Foods, an American holding company for branded foods, has signed an agreement to sell its Portland manufacturing facility to a nonprofit that runs Northeastern University’s Roux Institute, a graduate educational institution focused on digital engineering, genomics, and life sciences.   

The factory was built in 1913, and has been constantly in operation ever since, the Portland Press Herald reported. 

The manufacturing plant produced a number of brands including B&M and Underwood and employed approximately 86 people. Its closure is part of B&G’s commitment to improve productivity and reduce costs, the company said. 

B&G says that manufacturing of the affected brands including B&M beans will shift to existing B&G Foods plants and third-party co-manufacturers. 

Cutting down on costs

Closing down an old plant provides B&G opportunity to find more efficiencies by manufacturing somewhere that’s more technologically up to date.  

It may cut down on transportation costs because more brands will be made in the same place. It also frees up funds that B&G would have allocated to the maintenance of an aging building. 

B&G Foods’ president and CEO, Casey Keller, said: “The Portland community has been the home to B&M for more than a century, and while this was a very difficult decision, we believe it is in the best interest for the future of Portland”. 

“We are confident The Roux Institute will build a new longstanding legacy on the property, one that will enrich Portland residents in new and exciting ways, and will endure as a force for good in the community for generations to come.” 

A new dawn for Portland

Following the sale, the property will be converted to become the home of The Roux Institute at Northeastern University and will host a campus with incubator space for business startups. 

Charles Hewett, the executive director of the nonprofit that is developing the property said the move seems emblematic of a shift toward the future.  

The B&M plant had been an engine of the local economy for decades, and the science and technology campus could be the driver of jobs for years to come. 

The transition of manufacturing operations is expected to be completed either during Q4 of 2021 or Q1 of 2022.  Meanwhile, the sale, which is subject to customary conditions, is expected to close towards the end of 2021. 

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