ConAgra closes two plants in popcorn and seeds unit

ConAgra Foods, Inc. announced the closure of two plants, the expansion of another facility, and shifts in production between plants, all within its Popcorn and Seeds platform. The closings will result in 200 job cuts.

The company will close its microwave popcorn plant in Edina, Minn. Beginning in late April 2007, equipment and production capability will be transferred to plants in Rensselaer, Ind., and Irapuato, Mexico.

Additionally, ConAgra will close its South St. Paul, Minn. plant, which produces popcorn balls, and will transfer production capability to its Lakeville, Minn. plant.

ConAgra will partially close its plant in Lake View, Iowa, which supplies bulk popcorn in tins and tote bags among other popcorn products. Production of bulk popcorn in tins and totes will halt in late May 2007. Going forward, ConAgra Foods will produce popping corn and popcorn seed at its Lake View facility.

The company will expand its Rensselaer, Ind., facility, where the company says it will increase production capacity and reorganize warehousing operations.

In March 2006, ConAgra announced it would close 10 to 12 plants as part of the first phase of its growth and profit strategy. The latest plant closings are expected to be completed within eight to nine months and will result in 200 job cuts.

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