GRAND FALLS, N.B. (Jan. 30, 2018) – Dr. Oetker announced today that it will close its leased pizza manufacturing plant in Grand Falls, N.B. at the end of May, 2018.
Dr. Oetker is committed to taking care of their Grand Falls employees as they transition toward the plant’s closure.
Employees will receive a severance package that exceeds the statutory requirements in addition to employment counseling, resume support and career planning assistance. The Company will continue group medical and dental benefits until December 31, 2018.
Dr. Oetker will also establish a $4 million Grand Falls Community Fund to assist with job retraining and economic development, working with all levels of government including the Mayor of Grand Falls.
“We care deeply about the people on our Grand Falls team and we will sit down individually with them to discuss their own specific path forward,” said Dr. Oetker’s Executive Vice President Cécile Van Zandijcke. “That will be our immediate focus now.”
The retail food climate in which Dr. Oetker operates has become increasingly challenging in recent years both in terms of price and cost, adding significant additional pressures in the manufacturing environment.
“This very difficult announcement does not reflect on the quality of work and dedication of our Grand Falls employees. There is nothing our Grand Falls employees could have done differently. Food manufacturers have been facing severe economic pressures over the last few years and today’s market has become ultra-competitive. In order for Dr. Oetker to continue operating efficiently within this challenging environment, we needed to restructure our Canadian Manufacturing Operation,” said Van Zandijcke.
Dr. Oetker’s commitment to Canada remains strong. Most of the Grand Falls manufacturing will remain in Canada. The company reaffirms that an estimated 70 per cent of the manufacturing will transition to its owned Hub production facility in London, Ontario, while 30 per cent of production will move to its Lodi, New Jersey plant.
“This is a difficult day for our Grand Falls employees and our main objective will be to assist them in this transition. We will ensure the $4 million Community Fund is used to provide our employees and the broader Grand Falls community with all the help and assistance they need now and moving forward,” said Van Zandijcke.
About Dr. Oetker Canada
Since 1960, Dr. Oetker Canada Ltd. has provided innovative quality food products to Canadian consumers. Recognized as one of the fastest growing food manufacturing companies in Canada, Dr. Oetker produces and distributes a variety of dessert mixes and baking ingredients (Shirriff and Dr. Oetker branded) and frozen pizzas (Ristorante, Casa di Mama and Giuseppe). The Canadian company is a subsidiary of the family-run Oetker Group. Established in 1891 with the launch of Germany's first baking powder, today Dr. Oetker carries out a legacy rooted in the belief that "quality is the best recipe" and a commitment to building a sustainable presence in the countries in which it does business. In 2016, worldwide Dr. Oetker sales were $3 billion.
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