Del Monte Foods to close four US facilities in restructuring program

USA – Del Monte Pacific Ltd will be closing several facilities in the United States as part of a restructuring program that seeks to bring down costs.

The canned fruit manufacturer said it is closing facilities in four locations owned by US subsidiary Del Monte Foods, Inc. that will result in nearly 500 lay offs.

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Facilities to be closed are located at Sleepy Eye, Minnesota and Mendota, Illinois where production will cease at these facilities at the end of the current pack season.

The company also plans to sell its Cambria, Wisconsin facility, as an operating facility after completion of pack as well as its manufacturing assets in Crystal City, Texas. It intends to transfer production at this site to outside locations later this year.

These facility closures offer Del Monte the ability to fully utilize the capacity of its existing production facilities and increase its focus on branded growth and innovation. 

Production at these locations will be primarily transitioned to other Del Monte production facilities in the United States.

These facility closures offer Del Monte the ability to fully utilize the capacity of its existing production facilities and increase its focus on branded growth and innovation. 

Joselito D. Campos, Jr., managing director and chief executive officer at parent company Del Monte Pacific Ltd said: “This decision has been difficult and has come after careful consideration.

“This restructuring is a necessary step for us to remain competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace. Our asset-light strategy will lead to more efficient and lower cost operations.

Del Monte said employees affected by the plant closures will be eligible to receive severance if they work through their release date with satisfactory performance and sign a release. “We are committed to doing all we can to provide the affected employees with resources and support.”

Approximately 31 salaried and 106 regularly hourly workers are employed at the Mendota facility, with a peak seasonal headcount of 550 employees.

According to the company, the Sleepy Eye facility has 22 salaried and 50 hourly employees, and as many as 400 employees during the processing season while the Crystal City facility has 90 full-time hourly, 19 salaried and 300 seasonal employees,

Del Monte, which has suffered sales declines, last year closed plants in North Carolina, Indiana and California and currently has no other plants in Illinois.

Del Monte sells packaged fruits and vegetables as well as sauces, condiments, pasta, broth and juices, and operates a large pineapple plantation in the Philippines.

Its brands include S&W, Contadina, College Inn, Fruit Naturals, Orchard Select, SunFresh and Fruit Refreshers.

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