Nalley closing Tacoma plant, jobs headed to Iowa

Pinnacle Foods Group announced it will close its manufacturing operations in Tacoma, where it makes Nalley’s Chili and Brooks Beans, and move to Fort Madison, Iowa, where it operates an Armour canned meat plant, according to a statement released today.

Pinnacle Foods’ acquisition of Birds Eye Foods in December 2009 resulted in the company owning two meat canning plants, producing similar products, with excess production capacity. The consolidation into one plant will streamline its operations and supply chain. Fort Madison was selected because of its production capabilities and close proximity to source ingredients. Additionally, Pinnacle Foods will add a 17,000 square foot extension to its Fort Madison facility to accommodate the new operations. In total, Pinnacle Foods will invest approximately $20 million, create approximately 65 new jobs and retain approximately 430 jobs in Fort Madison.

The Nalley’s brand was founded in 1918 in Tacoma. Today, the Tacoma plant employs approximately 160 people.

“We are thankful to the Tacoma community and for the services of our Tacoma employees and we are committed to treating them with fairness and respect as we transition these facilities over the next few quarters,” said Mark Schiller, president of the Pinnacle Foods Duncan Hines Grocery Division. According to the statement, qualified employees will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at other Pinnacle Foods facilities, as well as receive professional career support services. At least 60 days notice prior to closure of the plant will be provided. Additionally, Pinnacle Foods will meet with the Tacoma union officials to discuss the timing of the plant closure and fair programs to help hourly employees transition.