Dr. Oetker will close its pizza manufacturing plant in Great Falls, Canada, at the end of May 2018 as a result of an “ultra-competitive market”.
The company, which also manufactures cake mixes, baking powder and yogurts, said it will establish a CAD 4 million ($3.2 million) Grand Falls community fund to assist with job retraining and economic development.
In a statement, the company said that the retail food climate has become increasingly challenging in recent years both in terms of price and cost, adding significant additional pressures in the manufacturing environment.
Most of the Grand Falls manufacturing output will remain in Canada. The company said an estimated 70% of the manufacturing will transition to its facility in London, Ontario, while 30% will move to its Lodi, New Jersey, plant.
Dr. Oetker Canada executive vice president Cécile Van Zandijcke said: “This very difficult announcement does not reflect on the quality of work and dedication of our Grand Falls employees. There is nothing our Grand Falls employees could have done differently.
“Food manufacturers have been facing severe economic pressures over the last few years and today’s market has become ultra-competitive. In order for Dr. Oetker to continue operating efficiently within this challenging environment, we needed to restructure our Canadian manufacturing operation.
“This is a difficult day for our Grand Falls employees and our main objective will be to assist them in this transition. We will ensure the CAD $4 million community fund is used to provide our employees and the broader Grand Falls community with all the help and assistance they need now and moving forward.”
She added: “We care deeply about the people on our Grand Falls team and we will sit down individually with them to discuss their own specific path forward. That will be our immediate focus now.”
Dr. Oetker is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Oetker Group. In 2010, Dr. Oetker sold its Onken yogurt brand to Emmi.
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