The Campbell Soup company will be closing their 87-year-old manufacturing facility in Toronto, Canada within the next 18 months. According to the major soup manufacturer, a new facility will be developed in the Greater Toronto Area, however the move will be affecting 380 of their 600 employees.
“The decision to stop producing soup and broth in Canada was a difficult one,” said Campbell executive Mark Alexander. “After a thorough review, we decided this 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. This decision in no way reflects on the talent or dedication of our team at our Toronto facility, and we are committed to assisting them through this difficult transition.”
The decision is the result of a decline in sales of canned soup products in North America. The company believes that this shut down is a necessary step to improve their operational efficiency. Due to the plant’s age and size, the company cannot retrofit the facility to improve its production line. This facility is one of the oldest and smallest ones out of the Campbell’s plants, so it was selected to be the one to be closed.
The production of soup and broth at the plant will transition in phases over the next 18 months. The manufacturing of these products will slowly move to facilities in North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.
Campbell’s Canadian headquarters and commercial operations will soon be moved to a facility in the Greater Toronto Area which will have a new food innovation centre. According to spokesperson Alexandra Sockett, the innovation centre will be designed to develop new product recipes that are tailored to Canadian tastes and preferences. About 200 out of the 600 employees at the closing plant will be transferred to the new headquarters.
After launching a multi-year cost saving initiative, Campbell Soup had generated $345 million in annual savings as of October 29, 2017. There may be a possibility of further closures of facilities in result of this initiative.