EAST HANOVER, NJ. — Mondelez International, Inc. has announced it will close its biscuit baking plants in Fair Lawn, NJ, and Atlanta later this year. The announcement comes three months after the company first said it was considering closing the plants as part of a broader plan to evolve its US biscuit manufacturing footprint.
In announcing the plant closings, Mondelez said the facilities in both Fair Lawn and Atlanta are no longer strategic assets from a geographic footprint perspective, and both face significant operational challenges, including aging infrastructure and outdated production capabilities, which would have required significant investment to bring them to the modernized state required for the future.
The two plants will be closed in phases, with production expected to cease at both locations this summer. Production will shift to other Mondelez-owned and -operated plants in the United States and US-based external manufacturing. In the case of the Oreo manufacturing “Line of the Future” and Oreo cookie grind production currently in Fair Lawn, production will shift to Mondelez’s biscuit plant in Richmond, Va., the company said.
Moving forward, Mondelez said it intends to focus its US biscuit operations on strategically located owned and operated bakeries on the East Coast, Midwest and West Coast of the United States — in Richmond; Chicago/Naperville, Ill., and Portland, Ore.
“This was not an easy decision to make, but as we continue to strengthen our leadership in snacking and address changing consumer behaviors, we must focus on sites that are best positioned to meet our future needs,” said Glen Walter, executive vice president and president, North America. “We understand the impact this will have on our colleagues at these bakeries, many of whom have been with our company for many years, and we will dedicate ourselves to working with the unions and our employees to ensure that they will be cared for and supported through this transition.”
Mondelez said its salaried employees will receive severance and other benefits, including outplacement services and other transition support. Transition support for hourly employees, including severance and other benefits, are subject to effects bargaining with the unions representing those employees, the company said.