Hershey to close six plants

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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HERSHEY, PA. — The Hershey Company has announced it will shut down six plants in Oakdale, Calif.; Naugatuck, Conn.; Reading, Pa; Smiths Falls, Ont., and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; and Montreal.

Hershey has operated the Oakdale plant since 1965 and it makes Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s peanut butter cups and chocolate syrup among other products. The closing will affect about 575 employees. The Reading plant makes York Peppermint Patties, Reese’s crispy crunch bars and Jolly Rancher products among others and the closing will impact about 260 employees.

The Naugatuck plant makes Mounds and Almond Joy candies, and that closing will affect about 200 employees. The closing of the Smiths Falls plant will impact more than 500 employees. With the latest announcements of the Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and Montreal plants, the company will be shutting down all remaining plants in Canada.

Hershey also announced it will cut up to 900 of the 3,000 workers from the three plants in Hershey and 80 to 100 employees from the Lancaster, Pa. plant.

The reductions are a part of a three-year supply chain transformation program designed to enhance Hershey’s manufacturing, sourcing and customer service capabilities — an initiative the company announced in February. The company said over the next three years, this will result in the elimination of approximately 1,500 positions as well as the reduction of production lines by more than one-third. In the end, about 80% of the production volume will take place in the U.S. and Canada.

Hershey also anticipates the changes will achieve on-going annual savings of about $170 million to $190 million by 2010.

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