ConAgra Foods is to shut a plant making tomato products in Helm in central California.

The site, west of Fresno, will end operations during the spring, although some warehousing will continue through the summer.

“We must operate as effectively and efficiently as possible to be successful in this competitive industry. Based on a careful evaluation of our plant network we have determined that it is necessary to close the plant in Helm, California. We have informed our employees and will continue to have open communication as the transition occurs,” a ConAgra spokesperson said.

Around 70 full-time and 30 seasonal workers will be impacted by the closure.

The US food group, owner of brands including Hunt’s tomato ketchup and Chef Boyardee pasta, is looking to improve its profitability as it battles to improve its sales.

In October, ConAgra announced it would cut around 1,500 jobs as part of plans to generate US$300m in “efficiency benefits” to boost productivity and profits, although it said at the time that programme looks at office positions and does not include plant staff.

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Earlier this week, the sale of ConAgra’s private-label business to US own-label supplier TreeHouse Foods was finalised. ConAgra is now a company with consumer-facing operations and a second business-to-business division supplying potato products. By this autumn, ConAgra hopes to split in two, forming the consumer-focused Conagra Brands and the potato products supplier Lamb Weston.