The company said in a statement it constantly evaluates how to improve efficiency.
“Following a detailed review of our manufacturing capacities, we have determined to move our production capacity at our Winona, Minnesota facility to our facility in Bellwood, Illinois, which has more modern equipment. Expanding production in Bellwood will help increase productivity and support the Company’s continued growth,” the company said.
Employees provided with transition assistance
Ferrara declined to give detailed answers regarding the Winona plant closure. However, local media reported the plant production will be terminated by the end of April according to various Ferrara employees, and 124 workers will be affected by company’s move.
Ferrara said the decisions that affect its employees are never easy. “This was not one we took lightly,” the company said in the statement.
“We greatly value our employees’ hard work and dedication on behalf of Ferrara and are committed to treating all employees with dignity and respect,” Ferrara said. “We are committed to providing transition assistance and severance for affected Winona employees. Our employees impacted by this closure will have the opportunity to apply for positions with other Ferrara operations.”
This is not the first time Ferrara closed its plant in Minnesota. ConfectioneryNews previously reported Ferrara shut down a manufacturing facility after the merger in 2012.
Winona move fits into long-term strategy
Ferrara told this site its Winona closure is part of the company’s comprehensive strategy to make itself a supply chain leader in the confectionery industry.
“Over the past five years, Ferrara has injected approximately $165 million into modernizing our facilities and establishing a best-in-class, state-of-the-art operating network,” the company said.
“Ferrara continues to grow, having added approximately 300 jobs in the Chicago area alone, and is on the way to becoming a $2 billion company," it said.