Del Monte to close Sleepy Eye plant

Staff photo by Fritz Busch A tractor driver pushes corn cobs into position to be processed at the Sleepy Eye Del Monte Corporation plant Tuesday afternoon. The California-based company announced the closure of the 89-year-old plant Tuesday, with layoffs beginning as early as Oct. 2.

SLEEPY EYE — Del Monte Pacific Limited in Singapore and Manila announced Tuesday it plans to close the Sleepy Eye production plant as part of a restructuring plan.

Along with the Sleepy Eye plant, Del Monte is closing a plant in Mendota, Ill.

Del Monte said production will cease at the plants at the end of the current pack season, in October. Employees will be laid off in stages as activities are completed.

Del Monte employs about 69 full-time employees and 294 seasonal employees.

“This decision has been difficult and has come after careful consideration. This restructuring is a necessary step for us to remain competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace. Our asset-light strategy will lead to more efficient and lower cost operations,” said Joselito D. Campos, Jr., Managing Director and CEO, Del Monte Pacific Limited, in a statement. “We are committed to doing all we can to provide the affected employees with resources and support.”