The Campbell Soup Company announced Wednesday that it will shut down its Toronto plant and move operations to its three U.S. factories.
Officials said Canadian soup and broth production will be moved to the company’s plants in North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. The company said it plans on keeping the Toronto facility, located near Islington Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard West, open for up to 18 months and that the shutdown will occur in phases.
The Toronto plant also serves as the company’s Canadian headquarters and houses its commercial operations too. The statement said the headquarters and close to 200 related jobs will move to an undetermined location in the Greater Toronto Area. It will also include a new “food innovation centre.”
Mark Alexander, the president of Americas Simple Meals and Beverages, Campbell’s parent company, said the closing was “a difficult one” that was “the best course of action for our business.”
“We are operating in an increasingly challenging environment as our industry’s consumer and retail landscapes continue to change dramatically,” he said in a statement.
Toronto City Councillor said the plant closing is “devastating news for our community.
“Campbell’s has employed generations of residents in Etobicoke-Lakeshore,” Grimes said in a statement. “I personally have many close, personal friends who work at this facility. I am truly saddened to hear this news, and want to extend my sympathies to all the employees and families that will be affected by this closure.”
Campbell Soup said the Toronto shutdown is part of a previously announced plan to cut costs amid declining sales. The multi-year effort has saved the company $345-million (U.S.) in yearly operating costs, the company said in a statement.
Publicly traded Campbell is headquartered in Camden, N.J. It employs 18,500 people worldwide and has yearly sales of about $8-billion.