Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The Campbell Soup Company announced Wednesday that it will shut down its Toronto plant and move operations to its three U.S. factories.
The move will result in nearly 400 lost manufacturing jobs at the plant, which has been in operation since 1931. The Toronto plant will be closed in phases over the next 18 months and production moved to Maxton, N.C.; Napolean, Ohio; and Paris, Texas.
Mark Alexander, the president of Americas Simple Meals and Beverages, Campbell's parent company, said the closing was "a difficult one" that was "the best course of action for our business."
"We are operating in an increasingly challenging environment as our industry's consumer and retail landscapes continue to change dramatically," he said in a statement.
Ana Dominguez, president of Campbell's operations in Canada, told the Toronto Star that one reason for the closing is the company has too much soup and not enough customers.
"Simply put, we are in a situation where we can produce a lot more soup than we can sell," she said.
With slow soup sales, the amount of jobs created in the three U.S. factories will be "minimal," company spokesman Thomas Hushen told Bloomberg.
Toronto City Councillor said the plant closing is "devastating news for our community.
"Campbell's has employed generations of residents in Etobicoke-Lakeshore," Grimes said in a statement. "I personally have many close, personal friends who work at this facility. I am truly saddened to hear this news, and want to extend my sympathies to all the employees and families that will be affected by this closure."