The New Jersey Nabisco factory that has been pumping sweet cookie aromas into the air along Route 208 for years will shutter by the summer, leaving 600 workers without jobs.
The Fair Lawn factory and another in Atlanta, Georgia will close in late August or early September, Borough Mayor Kurt Peluso and Nabisco's parent company, Mondelez International, said Thursday.
The reason for the closure was a geographical one, Peluso said. While the snack company has one plant each serving the Central U.S. and West Coast, there were three serving the East Coast.
Apparently, the three plants (New Jersey, Georgia and Virginia) caused an imbalance, according to Peluso.
Mondelez International last November said it was considering closing the Fair Lawn factory -- reportedly the largest producer of the Oreo cookie.
Since then, local and state officials tried persuading the company to stay. But, Peluso said, that proved to be an uphill battle.
The cookie and cracker company had made a large investment in the Fair Lawn plant in recent years, following the closing of the Philadelphia branch. A number of Philly workers were transferred to Fair Lawn.
"I just feel so horrible for these employees who now experience two plants shut down in just a few years," the mayor said.
"Through this whole situation I've been talking to a lot of the employees and it's really a great crew there working at Nabisco."
Many of those workers have been there for decades. They worked through the COVID-19 pandemic.
By no fault of their own, Peluso said, they're out of jobs.
"This was not an easy decision to make," said Glen Walter, Executive Vice President & President, North America.
"But as we continue to strengthen our leadership in snacking and address changing consumer behaviors, we must focus on sites that are best positioned to meet our future needs."
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