WINNIPEG, MANITOBA — As part of its strategic realignment and optimization of its further-processing capacity and service delivery for its Canadian customers, Cargill Limited announced Aug. 30 it will be closing its Toronto, Ontario, case-ready facility in the spring of 2011. The closure will eliminate the jobs of 600 unionized employees working at the plant in addition to its 90 management-level workers. Cargill's other case-ready operations in Calgary, Alberta, and Chambly, Québec, will remain unaffected, the company said.

Cargill's remaining further-processing operation in Guelph, Ontario, will be expanded to absorb the additional capacity, which may result in adding up to 200 new jobs, a company news release said.

"The decision to discontinue operations at the Toronto facility was very difficult, however, it was made knowing we had the ability to optimize our supply chain and provide real and enhanced value through leveraging our existing operations in Guelph,” said Jason Kuan, vice president and general manager for Case Ready Canada. “This realignment is all about our long-term commitment to being the partner of choice. It was driven in part by our attention to efficiency and our clear understanding of our customers' evolving need for increased value."

Cargill said it will ensure its impacted employees have access to career transition and personal and family support.

In 2005, Cargill purchased the two processing operations in Guelph and later expanded valued-added operations in Calgary in 2009.