US-based Del Monte Foods will close a food processing plant due to “consumer sentiment and macroeconomic factors.”
The move will result in the loss of 70 full time and 1,100 seasonal jobs.
The facility in Kingsburg, which purchases and processes peaches and zucchini, is planned to shut in the summer of 2013 after peach production is moved to Modesto and zucchini to Hanford, California.
Del Monte Foods, who acquired the factory in 1922, added it was still “committed to sourcing peaches from the California growers.”
Chrissy Stengel, director of corporate communications at Del Monte Foods, told FoodProductionDaily.com “consumer sentiment and macroeconomic factors” are continued challenges for the firm and the industry.
“The consolidation will allow Del Monte Foods to continue to meet consumers’ ongoing demand for high quality products at a reasonable value during these trying economic times.
“Consolidating our processing across two plants and improving our cost of production will allow us to remain a strong US-based presence in the canned peach market,” Stengel said.
“Amidst this difficult environment, new items launched in the marketplace performed strongly and we continued to invest in building new go-to-market capabilities in both our pet and consumer businesses, enabling the company’s future growth.
Stengel added the firm does not comment on production volume due to competitive reasons.
She said: “In order to prepare the Modesto plant for the increase in production of peaches and the Hanford plant for processing zucchini, we will be moving equipment from our Kingsburg facility to add the necessary capacity at the Modesto and Hanford plants.
“The Kingsburg, warehousing facility is expected to remain open until all product has been shipped, with an expected closure date of summer 2013,” she said.
“We have also started working with our third-party vendors to let them know if we will be closing out our contracts with them or if we will be transitioning their services for use in our Modesto facility.”