Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., plans to close its soup and broth manufacturing facility in Toronto to improve the operational efficiency of its North American thermal supply chain network. Campbell will also move its Canadian headquarters and commercial operations to a new location in the greater Toronto area. Significant productivity improvements and volume declines of canned soup in North America led to the decision to cease operations at the facility. Soup and broth production will be moved to the company’s existing plants in Maxton, N.C.; Napoleon, Ohio and Paris, Texas.
Several factors resulted in excess capacity in the North American thermal supply chain network, including significant productivity improvements and volume declines of canned soup in North America, the company stated. Opened in 1931, the Toronto unit is the oldest plant in the Campbell thermal network. Due to its size and age, the plant cannot be retrofitted in a way that’s competitively viable, according to Campbell.
Campbell says it will operate the facility for up to 18 months and close it in phases, transitioning production to the U.S. thermal plants. Campbell employs nearly 600 people in Toronto, including its headquarters, commercial operations and manufacturing functions. Approximately 380 manufacturing and manufacturing-related roles will be impacted.
“The decision to stop producing soup and broth in Canada was a difficult one,” said Mark Alexander, president of Americas Simple Meals and Beverages. “After a thorough review, we decided this was the best course of action for our business. We are operating in an increasingly challenging environment as our industry’s consumer and retail landscapes continue to change dramatically. This decision in no way reflects on the talent or dedication of our team at our Toronto facility, and we are committed to assisting them through this difficult transition.”
As of Oct. 29, 2017, Campbell Soup generated $345 million in annual ongoing cost savings from its previously announced, multi-year cost savings initiative. Campbell will relocate nearly 200 roles in the next several months. Site selection is underway for a new spot in the greater Toronto area, which will feature a new food innovation center. Campbell will continue to make soup and broth recipes tailored to Canadian tastes.