H.J. Heinz closes European plants, moves to co-packing
H.J. Heinz Co. has announced the closing of two its European processing plants and is moving some of the work to co-packers.
The company said Wednesday that its Turnhout plant in Belgium and Seesen plant in Germany will close.
The two plants employ 157 and 190 people, respectively.
"It is proposed that in a staged process production would, if implemented, shift to other Heinz factories or co-packers," Michael Mullen, Heinz senior vice president of corporate and government affairs, said in an email to CBC News.
"Our proposal to consolidate manufacturing across Heinz Europe, if implemented, would be a critical step in our plan to ensure we are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible to become more competitive in a challenging environment, and to accelerate the company’s future growth."
A co-packer, or contract packer, is a company that manufactures and packages foods or other products for their clients.
Mullen said the consolidation and co-packing proposals are "subject to consultation with employee representatives."
In November 2013, Heinz also announced it was closing three plants in North America, including Florence, S.C. (200 employees); Pocatello, Idaho (410 employees); and Leamington, Ont. (740 employees).
Heinz was expected to announce Thursday that some jobs in Leamington now will be saved. Sources tell CBC Windsor that a company has agreed to make tomato juice for sale by Heinz in Canada.