Unilever subsidiary Ben & Jerry's ice cream company has announced it will restructure is manufacturing and distribution operations. The restructuring will see the closure of the company's facilities in Springfield and Bellow Falls in Vermont.

The 124 employees at the two plants facing closure will be offered the opportunity to transfer to other locations or be given a severance package. The company's facility in St. Albans will be expanded to the tune of US$15m, creating up to 55 new positions.

"The decision to transition production and distribution to St. Albans comes only after long and careful consideration," said Yves Couette, president and CEO, in a written statement. "After evaluating our manufacturing strategy, we concluded that our Springfield and Bellows Falls facilities do not support our strategic plans for long-term growth," Couette said.

The changes will not take effect for a year, a schedule Couette explained was an effort to facilitate the transition for the employees affected.