West Liberty, Iowa-based West Liberty Foods announced the difficult decision to close their Mount Pleasant, Iowa facility, effective May 7, 2023. The plant closing will affect approximately 350 team members.
“Respect and care for people is a core value of our company, and shutting down a plant is a tough thing to do,” says Brandon Achen, President and CEO of West Liberty Foods. “Although we are taking steps to lessen the impact on our team members, we will be eliminating the jobs of some exceptional people through no fault of their own. I want each of them to know that we value their contributions and deeply regret the need for this action.”
West Liberty Foods’ Mount Pleasant facility opened in 2003 with its patented Clean Room Food Processing Systems–the first food manufacturing facility in the nation with this technology. Since opening, the facility has produced hundreds of millions of pounds of sliced deli meats for a variety of customers in foodservice and retail segments. The company has seen a recent shift in the types of products and capabilities needed to support their customers. This shift has resulted in a drastic reduction in pre-sliced deli meats, leaving this particular facility and its equipment unmatched to the company’s future needs and direction.
The company plans to move and consolidate existing operations from the Mount Pleasant facility to remaining facilities in Iowa, Illinois, and Utah.
The shutdown will occur in two phases. The first round of reductions will occur on December 31, 2022, with all operations ceasing at the Mount Pleasant plant on May 7, 2023. Team members were notified of the decision in one-on-one and group meetings.
“We are committed to providing our team members with support as we work through the process of closing the plant,” says Tara Lindsay, Chief Talent & Culture Officer. “In order to lessen the impact of the plant closing to our team members, we will provide them with offers to work at one of our other plants, relocation and transportation services, stay bonuses, severance pay, reemployment services, and assistance with filing unemployment claims.”
“We are sincerely grateful to the City of Mount Pleasant for its cooperation and support over the past 20 years,” Achen said. “Our core business remains strong and we will continue to adapt to meet the needs of our customers.”