J.R. Simplot To Close Heyburn Plant


By Paul Johnson

Heyburn, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) - The J.R. Simplot Company announced today that plans are to close its Heyburn Distribution center for frozen potato products. In a news release issued today, the company said the first part of the phased closure will occur at the end of August this year and will affect most of the facility’s 56 employees. The second and final part of the closure will occur during late summer 2014 and will affect the few remaining employees. “This was a difficult decision and we hate to enact layoffs for any reason, but the business factors that influenced this closure were too great to ignore,” said Simplot Food Group president Mark McKellar.
The distribution center at the company’s existing potato processing plant in Caldwell already is doing the same type of work as the Heyburn facility, and the Heyburn center will become even less cost-effective when Simplot begins operations at its new Caldwell potato processing plant in the fall of this year. A larger, more modern distribution center will begin operations in conjunction with start-up of the new Caldwell plant.
“The existing distribution center at Caldwell already is positioned to take product right off the production lines, prepare it for distribution, and ship it out via trucks and rail cars that are right outside the plant,” said McKellar. “This current efficiency and the even greater capabilities of the new Caldwell distribution center make it impossible for us to justify the additional costs involved in continuing to run products through the Heyburn distribution center.”

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