Del Monte Foods announced Monday it will close its Kingsburg plant following this summer’s peach canning season. The news came as a shock to Kingsburg officials. “I am extraordinarily disappointed by Del Monte to make this decision,” said Kingsburg Mayor Bruce Blayney. “This is a major blow to the local economy.”
Del Monte says 70 full-time employees and approximately 1,100 seasonal employees will lose jobs from the closure. The company will consolidate its peach processing operations from the Kingsburg plant to its Modesto plant.
Jolene Polyack, who handles economic development for the city, says a new incentive program to bring new businesses to Kingsburg was recently launched.
“Like everyone else, we are literally heartbroken at this turn of events,” Polyack said. “We will focus our efforts on recapturing those jobs and try to find a suitable business to replace Del Monte.”
The Kingsburg warehouse facility is expected to remain open until all product has been shipped, with an expected closure date of summer 2013. What Del Monte plans to do with the warehouse facility is not known now.
“We can’t confirm if the plant will be sold,” said Chrissy Stengel, spokeswoman for Del Monte. “We are focused on consolidating operations at the plant at this time.”