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Former Kraft Plant In Northeast Philadelphia To Close, Leaving 350 Out Of Work

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mondelēz International, who owns the old Kraft Foods plant in Northeast Philadelphia, has announced Thursday they will close in 2015.

The announcement means the loss of yet more jobs in the once-thriving snack industry (see related story).

Mondelēz says the closure of the Philadelphia bakery on Roosevelt Boulevard will affect about 350 employees, who were informed of the company's decision earlier today.

The plant has changed hands over the years from Nabisco to Kraft, and then to the Chicago-based Mondelēz.

In a statement, the company said they plan to invest more than $130 million in new biscuit manufacturing technology and capabilities in the U.S., focusing on bakeries in Fair Lawn, N.J., and Richmond, Va.

To enable this investment, the company will consolidate its current U.S. biscuit manufacturing on the East Coast, resulting in the closure of its Philadelphia bakery by early 2015.

"This investment in our North American biscuit supply chain offers us an exciting opportunity to further improve the overall effectiveness, efficiency and the competitiveness of our manufacturing network, with a focus on driving big bets and accelerating growth for the biscuit category," said Cindy Waggoner, Vice President, North America Integrated Supply Chain, Biscuits. "This announcement is also bittersweet. It's always a difficult decision to close a manufacturing facility, especially one like the Philadelphia bakery, which has been part of our organization and the community for many years."

The company said the Philadelphia site currently produces a limited number of core products, and other facilities are better positioned to support the company's future business needs.

"Our focus right now is on our employees in Philadelphia. We're making this announcement almost a full year in advance of the planned closure to help provide a smooth transition. We're committed to treating our employees fairly and working with them through this difficult time," Waggoner added.

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