BDC Del Monte to sell Cambria canning plant (copy)
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BDC Del Monte to sell Cambria canning plant (copy)

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CAMBRIA — Del Monte Foods announced that it would sell its canning plant in Cambria “as an operating facility” after completion of the pack season.

Cambria Village President Glen Williams said he was informed by the company Tuesday that it was in negotiations to sell the canning plant. Williams was glad when company officials told him the plant in Cambria would not be shut down and the likely new owners plan to continue its operation.

“As far as I know they’re planning on keeping it running,” he said, adding that the plant, which spans roughly 377 acres, is an important part of the village.

The move is in addition to Del Monte plans to close facilities in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, and Mendota, Illinois. Production will cease at the Minnesota and Illinois facilities with completion of the current season. Production primarily will be transitioned to other Del Monte facilities in the United States.

Company representatives did not tell Williams the identity of the prospective buyer because they were still in negotiations, he said. Williams added he was grateful to hear jobs at the site won’t be affected.

The Cambria plant employs about 45 full-time employees and 280 seasonal employees. It cans peas, green beans and whole kernel corn. The site includes 46,000 square feet of production and 60,000 square feet of warehousing.

Del Monte has been generous with canned food donations for area food drives and has donated corn to the Randolph Corn Carnival each year.

According to the company’s website, Del Monte Foods purchased the Cambria facility in 1999 and upgraded two phases of the bean production processes and equipment in 2000 and 2001.

The facility was constructed in 1920 by the Columbia Canning Company. Consolidated Foods purchased the plant in 1953.

In 1963, Consolidated Foods merged with the Michigan Fruit Company. The warehouse, field shop and corn building were constructed during the 1960s. The Larsen Company purchased the facility in 1973 and constructed the bean building in 1974 to begin bean production.

Dean Foods purchased the plant in 1986, increased the corn processing capacity and installed new equipment in 1997 before Agrilink Foods purchased the canning factory in 1998.

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