Snack foods manufacturer to close Wahpeton, N.D., plant that employs 37
WAHPETON, N.D.-An organic snack foods company will close its roasting plant here next year, affecting dozens of employees who work there.The Ontario-based SunOpta Inc., which has its U.S. headquarters in Edina, Minn., announced to its investors W...
WAHPETON, N.D.-An organic snack foods company will close its roasting plant here next year, affecting dozens of employees who work there.
The Ontario-based SunOpta Inc., which has its U.S. headquarters in Edina, Minn., announced to its investors Wednesday, Dec. 6, that it will make a "significant investment" in its roasted snacks lines at its facility in Crookston, Minn.
As part of that investment, production at its Wahpeton roasting plant will be consolidated to the Crookston facility, 896 22nd Ave. N. That's expected to happen next year between April and June.
Chief Human Resources Officer Jeff Gough told The Forum that 37 employees work at the Wahpeton facility. They were told of the upcoming closure on Monday, Dec. 4, he said.
SunOpta has a presence in several other communities in the region, including in Crookston, Breckenridge and Alexandria in Minnesota. Gough said all affected employees can apply for open positions at the company's other facilities in the region or in other areas of the U.S. if they're willing to relocate.
They were also notified about their expected severance packages on Monday if they stay with the company until the Wahpeton plant closes, he said.
CEO Dave Colo said in a written statement that investing in its Crookston facility will allow the company to advance its quality and food safety efforts while also expanding its capabilities as it reacts to "strong underlying consumer trends in healthy snacking."
Closing the Wahpeton plant is expected to cost $2 to $2.5 million, according to an investor release. Those charges will be recognized during the fourth quarter of 2017.
"I want to thank all of our employees associated with our Wahpeton, N.D., facility for their hard work and dedication," Colo said in a written statement. "Each employee has been instrumental in assisting SunOpta in delivering quality products to our roasted snacks customers."
The company's 2016 annual report said it owns the Wahpeton facility. Gough said SunOpta is still looking at its options and hasn't yet decided what it will do with the property.