February 6, 2023

Bonduelle to merge 2 U.S. manufacturing plants

French-based vegetable processing company Bonduelle is merging two U.S. manufacturing plants to optimize production and efficiency.

Manufacturing activities at New Jersey facilities in Florence and Swedesboro will be merged in the coming months, with the current Florence plant converted into a warehouse, the company said in a news release. Jobs will be maintained on the site, though all Florence workers will be offered an alternative position in Swedesboro.

Bonduelle’s New Jersey manufacturing operations will be merged in the coming months. Image: Provided

“This operation aims to optimize the production of all products for customers nationally while achieving gains in efficiency and coverage of fixed costs,” Bonduelle said in releasing its half-year 2022-23 results on Feb. 1.

Bonduelle’s group revenue for the period increased by 6.1% year-on-year to $1.36 billion, but its non-Europe zone revenue dropped by 3.4%.

“The ready-to-use fresh segment (in North America) declined over the period, impacted on the one hand by the loss of contracts in the second half of financial year 2021-2022, by a salad segment that was itself in decline, and on the other hand by an agronomic crisis affecting salad yields in the Salinas region, generating a significant shortage of products and a rise in purchase prices,” the company said.

This led to adapting its East Coast manufacturing setup to focus on “profitable business segments,” Bonduelle said.

The company said the financial impact of this reorganization will be recorded in the 2022-2023 fiscal year under non-recurring items.

Last summer, Bonduelle adjusted downwards its revenue and margin expectations for its financial year, citing its North American business unit performance.

Last May, the company revealed it had begun negotiations with two Canadian institutional investors for the partial sale of its Bonduelle Americas Long Life business. In June, Bonduelle obtained approval from U.S. and Canadian regulatory authorities to finalize the sale of 65% of the business to Montreal-based Fonds de solidarité FTQ and Quebec’s Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec for $660.5 million.

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