77 workers were laid off last Friday when energy, grain, and food cooperative CHS Inc. closed its soy processing plant in Hutchinson, KS, several local news organizations reported.
The plant was closed along with two other CHS facilities in the U.S., a plant in Creston, IA and the firm’s Technology Center in Eagan, MN. In total, some 144 jobs are impacted by the company’s move, CHS spokesperson Annette Degnan told the Hutchinson News.
CHS said some of the impacted employees will receive severance pay and be eligible for other benefits for displaced workers, like outplacement assistance.
Producing Ultra-Soy brand textured soy protein for use in food manufacturing. Some end users used the product to extend their supplies of meat and seafood in products, and others add it to snacks and health foods.
“If you look at many frozen entrees like pizza, you will see textured soy in the ingredients,” Degnan said in the News’ coverage. “We will still have operations in soybean crushing and refining, but we’re no longer going to make soy protein.”
The company said the closure stems from CHS’ move to align its portfolio with its other commodity-centric businesses. CHS purchased the Hutchinson plant in 2008.