Bimbo to shut Canada Bread’s North Bay plant


Canada Bread, the Canadian arm of Mexican baked-goods giant Grupo Bimbo, plans to close its bakery at North Bay, Ont. later this summer.

The company announced Wednesday it will begin to gradually wind down operations, transfer the plant’s work to its other bakeries in Quebec and Ontario and shut down the bakery effective Aug. 5.

The 30,000-square foot bakery, formerly known as City Bakery, produces buns, rolls and sliced breads and employs 62 staff.

Employees will be “encouraged” to seek jobs at Canada Bread’s 18 other plants and will also get severance, counselling and other “outplacement” services, the company said.

“Our industry is under mounting competitive pressure to become more efficient and this means we have to make very difficult decisions,” Jennifer Park, the company’s vice-president of operations, said in a release.

“While this is the business reality, it is hard to make the necessary changes, particularly in a community where we have such a strong presence.”

United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175, which represents 52 of the North Bay plant’s staff, on Thursday cited a company document listing “the age of the facility (and) the investment required to update it, along with the ability to produce the same product lines more efficiently at other existing facilities” as reasons for the closure.

Canada Bread had owned the North Bay plant since 2001, when it bought 100 per cent control of Quebec baked goods firm Multi-Marques and its brands such as Bon Matin and POM.

Canada Bread, whose other brands include Dempster’s, Villaggio, Ben’s, Healthy Way, McGavins and Vachon, last year also shut down its Ben’s Bakery plant in Halifax and farmed out most of the plant’s work to other Canada Bread facilities at Moncton and Woodstock, N.B.

Bimbo has owned Etobicoke, Ont.-based Canada Bread since mid-2014, when it bought full control from majority shareholder Maple Leaf Foods and others. — Network

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