MENDOTA, Illinois — The Del Monte Foods plant in Mendota, Illinois is set to close as the company makes changes to its production facilities.
The company announced the closure Tuesday, August 20. Company leaders planned to close the Illinois plant at the end of the pack season. Their location in Sleepy Eye Minnesota is expected to close as well. A Wisconsin facility will be sold as an operating facility and equipment will be sold from their Texas facility.
The production that happens at these locations will be doled out to other Del Monte facilities in the United States, said a statement from the company.
The statement said the closures will allow Del Monte to make full use of the facilities it has and will allow them to increase the growth.
“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.”
The plant in Mendota has been around since 1949 and packs peas, carrots, corn, lima beans and other vegetables.
Mendota’s city clerk Emily McConville said she and the mayor were “totally blind-sided,” according to a report by the Mendota Reporter.
“Del Monte has played a vital role in Mendota’s history and we are thankful for the 70 plus years. I can’t help but feel devastated for the families that will be directly and indirectly affected,” said McConville, according to the report.
According to News Tribune, the plant is expected to close completely by June of 2020, with layoffs starting in October.
The Mendota facility employs about 30 salaried workers and 106 hourly workers, according to the report. At any given time, they also employ up to 550 seasonal workers.