BOSIE, IDAHO — The J.R. Simplot Co. is planning to build a 380,000-square-foot potato processing plant in Caldwell, Idaho. The plant is expected to be functional in the spring of 2014.
“Competition in the food industry has become challenging, with profit margins shrinking and costs continuing to rise,” said Bill Whitacre, president and chief executive officer. “These factors and other considerations have made it important to the future well-being of our food business that we build this new plant.”
The plant will be built on the site of and replace the company’s original processing plant in Caldwell and will help the company remain competitive and provide environmental benefits, J.R. Simplot said. The environmental benefits include a smaller carbon footprint, less water usage and more energy efficiency.
In addition to the closing of the existing Caldwell plant, there will be additional closings in upcoming years at Aberdeen and Nampa, which will cut about 800 jobs.
“We struggled with this very difficult decision, and we know the closures will have an impact on many of our employees and their families,” Mr. Whitacre said. “We will be doing what we can to ease the transition as it occurs.”