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Fact check: GA and NJ Nabisco plant closures not moving jobs to Mexico, parent company says

After snack company Mondelez International announced two U.S. biscuit bakeries would close in 2021, posts have been circulating on social media saying the jobs “will be shipped” to Mexico or that the move was caused by President Joe Biden’s administration. These claims, however, are false according to a company spokeswoman.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Mondelez International is seen on an office building in the Glattpark district in Opfikon, Switzerland October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD

A Facebook post shared over 2,250 times here reads: “Nabisco closing plants in Georgia and New Jersey moving to Mexico congratulations on electing Biden”. Other iterations can be seen here and here .

On Feb. 4, Mondelez International Inc. ( here ), owner of Nabisco,  announced the closure of two of its three east coast bakeries: Atlanta, Georgia and Fair Lawn, New Jersey ( here ), a decision that will impact a total 1,000 workers (600 in Fair Lawn and 400 in Atlanta). The company had previously discussed the possible move last year, on Nov. 18, 2020 ( here ).

According to the company, these two plants which are expected to cease operations by the summer of 2021, are “no longer strategic assets from a geographic footprint perspective, and both face significant operational challenges, including aging infrastructure and outdated production capabilities.”

On Nov. 16, 2020, New Jersey’s 5th District Congressman Josh Gottheimer expressed his concerns about the company’s plans in a public statement here . “We all fear that these jobs will move to Mexico, which is clearly unacceptable,” he said.

In its statement, however, Mondelez said it was “committed to the United States, as well as to robust U.S. biscuit manufacturing” and that “no U.S. jobs will go to Mexico related to these two closures and U.S. biscuit production levels will be maintained.”

Laurie M. Guzzinati, Mondelez Senior Director, Corporate & Government Affairs North America, told Reuters via phone that “Neither of those [claims in the posts] are accurate.” The decision was “not about Mexico” but about the company’s U.S. manufacturing network, she reassured.

The biscuit operations of the company in the U.S. will be sustained by their existing bakeries in Richmond, Virginia; Chicago and Naperville, Illinois; and Portland, Oregon and “complemented by long standing external manufacturers that have supported the business for multiple decades,” the spokeswoman added.

The snack food giant has about 80,000 employees around the world and operates in more than 80 countries, according to their website here ,  including Mexico.

As reported by the Chicago Tribune here and here , in 2016 Mondelez cut about 600 jobs in its Chicago facility and did move some of the operation to Salinas, Mexico, where the company announced a 130-million dollar investment to replace “inefficient manufacturing lines at its Chicago biscuit plant” ( here ) . At the time, the move prompted criticism from then presidential candidate Donald Trump ( here ). 

The company has been investing in healthy brands as consumers’ eating habit shifts, adding brands like Tate’s and Perfect Snacks to its portfolio ( here ). It has also raced to develop products with less sugar, in smaller packaging sizes and clearer portion suggestions ( here ).

VERDICT

False. According to Mondelez (Nabisco’s parent company), the 1,000 jobs that will be cut in 2021 due to the closure of two biscuit bakeries in New Jersey and Georgia will not be moved to Mexico. According to a spokeswoman, the decision, first announced in Nov. 2020, is not related to the Biden administration.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts  here  . 

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