Food Engineering

Shutdowns affect six food plants

March 1, 2002
Three major food processors recently announced the closures of two plants each, though the reasons for the shutdowns varied.

General Mills blamed sagging sales of Mexican food ingredients for the March 8 closing of its Anthony, Texas, sauce and ingredients plant. The facility employed 213. Tom Jagiela, vice president of manufacturing, cited the need to consolidate production in the Feb. 22 closing of a Pillsbury frozen breakfast food plant in suburban Chicago. The three-year-old Geneva, Ill., facility employed 119.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. is discontinuing cocoa processing operations at two plants, attributing the moves to its commitment to improve profits by closing under-performing plants. ADM's Savannah, Ga., unit, acquired five years ago from ED&F Man Co., ceases operations April 1, while the Koscian, Poland, plant goes off line July 15. Both plants will be converted to warehouse use.

The lights go out this month in two Canadian cheese plants owned by Saputo Inc. A March 1 shutdown was scheduled for the Quebec plant in Saint-Francois-Xavier de Bromption, which employs 13. Saputo's Bashaw, Alberta, plant, which employs 88, was to be mothballed by the end of the month. The closings are related to last year's acquisition of Dairyworld and leaves Saputo with 20 Canadian cheese operations employing 2,100.

In another efficiency move, Pilgrim's Pride Corp. will shift production from its Alma, Va., chicken plant in the coming months to processing facilities in Broadway, Va., and Moorefield, W.V.