US: Heinz Leamington tomato growers to get $1.8m payout
The Leamington plant contributed to 200,000 Heinz tomatoes annually
H.J Heinz Co. has announced it will compensate 43 tomato growers that supplied its Leamington plant following last year's announcement of the plant's closure.
Growers supplied 200,000 tons of Heinz tomatoes annually. Production from three plants Heinz said it would close - in Leamington, Florence and Pocatello - will move to other Heinz plants in North America when the Leamington site closes on 27 June. At the time the closures were announced, Heinz said they were essential in maximising business efficiency and effectiveness.
A spokesperson for the company today (28 January) told just-food: "In recognition of the long standing partnership and mutual respect between our company and all 43 local tomato growers in the Leamington area, Heinz is pleased to confirm that the growers have unanimously accepted a goodwill payment by Heinz."
According to a report on CNBC, the compensation amount totals US$1.8m, but Heinz did not comment on this.
"Although the terms of the contract required no payment, Heinz felt that a goodwill payment would help offset costs incurred by some growers who had already begun to prepare for next year's tomato crop," he added.
He did not comment on whether growers for the other sites facing closure would be eligible for the same payout.
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