Manufacturer closing plant


A factory line worker labels boxes. ©

A maker of products for the food and beverage industries is ending its local manufacturing operations and laying off 107 workers.

Kerry, a subsidiary of Naas, Ireland-based Kerry Group, recently notified the state of Michigan it plans to permanently close its facility at 4444 52nd St. SE in Kentwood this spring.

The plant makes sweet ingredients and flavors.

The closure affects about 107 employees, the bulk of which will be laid off on April 21, according to Dale Olmstead, senior plant manager for Kerry, who submitted the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification letter to the state last month.

“A small group of employees will be retained for a couple of months (beyond April 21) to facilitate the closure,” Olmstead says in the letter.

The affected employees serve in various roles: administrative support, drivers, lab technicians, maintenance workers, production, quality control, supply chain, warehouse and more.

Kerry Group

Founded in 1972 in Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland as a private company, Kerry Group is now a global public food company.

It makes products via three subsidiaries: Kerry (taste and nutrition), Kerry Foods (consumer foods) and Kerry Agribusiness (milk supplier).

Kerry Group reported annual sales of $7.5 billion.

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