Del Monte Pacific Limited recently announced closure of production facilities of U.S. subsidiary Del Monte Foods. This includes the Del Monte plant in Sleepy Eye. An official announcement was sent to the Herald-Dispatch in addition to the following local information.

The Sleepy Eye plant will be permanently closed after the current pack season; on or around Oct. 21. Layoffs will begin in stages after pack season and conclude when all labeling, shipping and closing activities are completed around June 2020.

Approximately 69 full-time and 294 seasonal employees are expected to be impacted.

What follows is Del Monte Pacific Limited’s official announcement:

Del Monte Pacific Limited announced its intention to move to an asset-light strategy and divest production facilities of U.S. subsidiary Del Monte Foods. Facilities to be closed are located at Sleepy Eye and Mendota, Ill.

Production will cease at these facilities at the end of the current pack season. In addition, Del Monte’s Cambria, Wis. facility will be sold as an operating facility after completion of pack. 

The company will also be selling manufacturing assets at its Crystal City, Texas facility and intends to transfer production at this site to outside locations later this year. 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.

“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,” said Joselito D. Campos, Jr., managing director and CEO, Del Monte Pacific Limited. “We are committed to doing all we can to provide the affected employees with resources and support.”

When asked for details, company officials said employees will be eligible to receive severance if they work successfully through their release date with satisfactory performance and sign a release.

Asked about local rumors that a sale of the plant may be in the works, the response was brief: No information on a sale. (Del Monte Pacific Limited is dual listed on the main boards of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited and the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc.)

– Deb Moldaschel is the editor of the Sleepy Eye Herald-Dispatch