Biddeford officials confirmed on Thursday that California-based Growers Express will close its food processing plant in the city after the company lays off 93 workers next month.

Biddeford Economic Development Coordinator Brad Favreau said that the layoffs announced by the company Wednesday will lead to the closure of the processing facility at 20 Morin St., effective March 24.

Favreau said the city has been in touch with the company since December, when Growers Express notified the Maine Department of Labor that it would be laying off its workforce and leasing the plant to a new tenant.

Growers Express processes and packages fresh and frozen vegetables sold in bags under the Green Giant brand name.

Since then, the city has been in talks with the Growers Express Human Resources Department in an effort to help workers find new employment.

“We alerted local employers of this pool of newly available workers,” Favreau said. “Several Biddeford companies and organizations have expressed interest in this workforce, as the labor market is quite tight now. As of (Wednesday), 12 employers in Biddeford and Saco have contacted Growers seeking to hire their workers once they are are laid off.

“We expect that these workers will find new employment quickly.”

Favreau said the building is currently listed by Portland-based Dunham Group, which is offering the 52,000-square-foot facility as a leasing opportunity.

Growers Express on Wednesday confirmed that there would be employee layoffs, but declined to say whether the plant would be closed.

In a statement issued Wednesday night, Growers Express said the layoffs are necessary to allow the company to “become as efficient as possible in the ever-changing food processing marketplace.”

Growers Express is headquartered in Salinas, California.



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