Seneca Foods Corp. told state authorities that 65 full-time workers and 300 seasonal ones will lose their jobs in the company’s decision to close its vegetable-canning facility in Rochester.
The first round of layoffs is expected in early November, the Marion, N.Y.-based food processor said in a WARN letter to the state of Minnesota last week.
The closing was first disclosed earlier this summer. Consumers are eating fewer canned vegetables, like the corn and peas packed at the Rochester facility, Seneca’s Chief Financial Officer Tim Benjamin told the Rochester Post-Bulletin in June.
Seneca will move the workload currently performed at its Rochester plant to other facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The company’s freezer-distribution center in Rochester will remain open, according to the WARN letter. Benjamin said in June about 180 employees are “connected to” the freezer warehouse in Rochester.
Seneca’s Rochester plant is its largest in Minnesota and processes the greatest variety of vegetable products. The company also cans corn and peas in Blue Earth, Glencoe and Montgomery — plants Seneca acquired from Green Giant, then owned by Pillsbury, in 1994.
The closure ends nearly 90 years of canning history in Rochester beginning with Reid-Murdoch and Co. in 1929. Most of the products processed there today are sold under the Libby brand or private-store brands for various retailers.