PORTLAND — Barber Foods is laying off another 79 employees during what the company called its “last phase of integration” into AdvancePierre Foods, which bought Barber last year.
Last June, a few weeks after the acquisition by Cinncinati-based AdvancePierre, Barber laid off 82 employees, and then laid off another 71 workers in December.
The latest round brings the total layoffs to 232.
After the layoffs, the Barber will still employ more than 300 workers at its Portland production plant on St. John Street, according to a news release from the company.
The changes made as a result of the acquisition “will maximize production capacity and ensure the long-term viability of the St. John Street plant,” the company said Monday in its release.
The company said it has improved its packaging process and employed “technological advancements (that) will streamline plant and corporate operations.”
“We regret that these important investments in our facility have resulted in job loss,” said David Barber, president of Barber Foods, in a prepared statement.
Employees who are laid off will receive 60 days’ notice and a week of severance for every year they worked there, the release said.
Barber has said the acquisition is enabling the company to shut down its oven in Portland and move production of its line of fully cooked foods to a more efficient plant owned by AdvancePierre in Enid, Okla.
The Portland plant will continue to focus on raw foods, including stuffed chicken breasts and chicken tenders.
AdvancePierre planned to invest $10 million in renovations and upgrades to the plant over a two-year period, Barber said last year.
AdvancePierre, which has about 4,000 employees, sells packaged sandwiches, cooked chicken and beef, shaved beef for cheesesteak sandwiches and other products.