Kraft to Shut Down Bentonville Plant

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Sixty employees of the Kraft Foods plant in Bentonville were told Tuesday they will be out of a job by next Spring.

Kraft Foods Group, Inc., announced plans to shut down the facility located at 507 southeast E Street in the second quarter of 2013 and sell the property.

The news release also stated the announcement will have no impact on the Kraft Sales office in Rogers.

The 65,000 square-foot Bentonville plant makes ingredient cheeses that are used by other Kraft plants, according to a news release from the company.

Jim Durkin, Vice President of Operations for Kraft’s Cheese & Dairy business unit, released the following statement:

“After careful analysis and review, we identified some opportunities to combine production, gain efficiencies and reduce expenses in our Cheese & Dairy network. We’ll achieve greater efficiencies of scale by combining the majority of the plant’s production with external partners. Bentonville is a smaller plant and its size isn’t suitable for the scale the company needs going forward.”

“This is not a reflection on our employees in Bentonville,” he said in the statement. “This is a strategic decision that has nothing to do with their performance, which has been excellent. We will be working with our employees to help them through this transition.”

The plant opened in 1947, according to Kraft.