Smucker to Cut 700 Jobs and Build New Plant in Ohio

Four facilities will close and 15% of total workforce will be cut as new plant is constructed

The J.M. Smucker Co. said March 24 it will close four facilities and cut 700 positions in North America over the next three years as it builds a new plant in Orrville, Ohio, where the company is headquartered.

The company will begin construction on the new Orrville facility in the fall with an initial start-up date scheduled for the summer of 2012. Over the next three years, the company plans to cut 40% of its workforce in Orrville.

The moves are part of a plan to streamline its supply chain, including the consolidation of coffee operations, which the company acquired in 2008 when it purchased Folgers Coffee.

Production at the new plant will be phased through the summer of 2013, at which time Smucker plans to close its Memphis, Tenn., and St. Marie, Quebec, fruit spreads plants. The company will close coffee plants in Sherman, Texas, and Kansas City, Mo.

The new plant will replace the company's existing 60-year-old facility in Orrville. Once completed, the majority of the company's fruit spreads, syrups and ice-cream toppings production will take place in Orrville and Ripon, Wis., the company said.

Smucker will make capital investments of $220 million over the next three years with the construction of the Orrville plant and enhancements to an existing plant in Ripon and its coffee operations in New Orleans.

The company expects to incur $190 million in restructuring charges over a five-year period related to the construction of the new Orrville facility. Once fully implemented, Smucker will save an estimated $60 million, the company said.

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