About 200 employees will be without a job following the current harvest season at the Olam processing plant in Williams.
The company announced in a statement Thursday that it will cease all operations of the Williams canning plant, due to the decreased demand for canned food.
“This has been a tough decision, but regrettably, the Williams plant is unable to compete in the marketplace, which continues to face cost pressures and falling demand for canned food,” said Tiffany Silveira, Olam marketing manager.
The canned food industry has seen a decrease in demand, according to the market report, ‘Canned/Preserved Food Packaging in the US’, in 2012. While canned goods are considered to be household essentials by the majority of homes, consumers are demanding foods packaged with freshness, superior quality, convenience, and eco-friendliness.
Silveira said that the plant has completed its final season of fresh packing and will complete re-manufacturing to the end of this year.
“The plant will ramp down operations until the middle of 2020 when we have fulfilled all the shipments,” said Silveira. “After which, we will close the site.”
Silveira added that Olam would continue its tomato processing operations in Lemoore, located in Kings County.
Silveira did not give a breakdown to the number of full-time, part-time, or seasonal employees affected, however, she stated about 200 would have to find employment elsewhere.
“We want to thank every employee for their hard work and dedication to the business, and the Williams community over the years,” said Silveira. “We will be working with all those employees who are affected.”
The company stated it was considering all options for the future of the Williams processing plant property. ■