Aiken, S.C. June 27, 2013: Pepperidge Farm today announced plans to close its bakery in Aiken, S.C. as part of a program to improve the utilization of its manufacturing network.
Bill Livingstone, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain and Operations, said: “The Bakery industry in the United States is becoming increasingly consolidated and competitive. In order to continue to grow and flourish, Pepperidge Farm needs to be innovative and agile, with the most cost-effective manufacturing facilities."
“We recently reviewed our operations and identified excess capacity in our bakery network. As a result, we evaluated a number of different options to address this. We made the difficult decision to close our plant in Aiken. It is a very good bakery with great people, but it has limited production capabilities, and we’ve recently discontinued a product that accounted for a significant amount of its volume.”
He said the company recognized it was a difficult decision for the employees working at the plant.
“This move in no way reflects on the team at our Aiken bakery and we will ensure we look after our people during the coming months. Over the years they have shown strong commitment, which is why we have continued to invest in equipment and training at the site.”
Opened in 1976, Aiken employs 115 people. Pepperidge Farm intends to close the facility in phases, starting in September 2013 and with plans to cease operation by March 2014. The company plans to shift the majority of the bread made in Aiken to its bakery in Lakeland, Florida. Pepperidge Farm will offer affected employees a comprehensive support package which includes: compensation packages that recognize their commitment and service; access to employment specialists who can provide advice on preparing resumes and job interview techniques; meetings with financial advisers. The company will also organize Job Fairs, where companies looking to recruit can meet employees.
Pepperidge Farm operates eight other bakeries across the country and employs more than 4000 people.
Pepperidge Farm, Incorporated, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, is a leading provider of premium quality fresh bakery products, cookies, crackers, and frozen foods. Among the company’s most popular products are Sausalito® and Milano® cookies, Goldfish® crackers, Baked Naturals® crackers, frozen Puff Pastry, frozen garlic loaves and Texas toasts, and more than 50 varieties of fresh baked breads including Pepperidge Farm® Swirl, Farmhouse and Whole Grain and Ecce Panis® artisan breads. Pepperidge Farm was founded in Connecticut in 1937 by Margaret Rudkin, an entrepreneurial homemaker who began baking fresh, all-natural bread for her allergy-afflicted son. Today, the company has nine bakeries and more than 4,000 employees. Pepperidge Farm has been part of Campbell Soup Company since 1961.