CARB’s Job Leakage Continues? – Campbell Soup Closes Sacramento Plant

Russ Steele

The Mercury News has the story:

Campbell Soup Co. is closing two U.S. plants and cutting more than 700 jobs as it looks to trim costs amid declining canned soup consumption.

The world’s largest soup maker said Thursday that it will close a plant in Sacramento, Calif., that has about 700 full-time workers. The plant was built in 1947 and is the company’s oldest in the country. It also has the highest production costs of Campbell’s four major U.S. soup plants.

Campbell also plans to shutter a spice plant in South Plainfield, N.J. that has 27 employees. Production will be shifted to the company’s only other U.S. plant, in Milwaukee.

One has to ask, why are Campbell’s production costs highest in the California plant?  It could be because the plant is older, or it could be because that California regulations are driving up cost. Looking down the road Campbell may see that AB-32 Cap and Trade will being driving cost into the unsustainable column.

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About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

11 Responses to CARB’s Job Leakage Continues? – Campbell Soup Closes Sacramento Plant

  1. Sean says:

    It’s interesting that one of the reports on the Campbell plant closure discusses this as a “thermal” plant and the most costly to operate. It’s 8 blocks long and 4-5 blocks wide. It seems big enough that it would have been on CARB’s compliance list.

    Canned soup has been losing market share for years, resulting in excess capacity for this type of packaging so likely one of Campbell’s 4 plants had to go. They also chose not to put new types of packaging in this plant as they have done in others so the plant may have been on shaky ground already. CARB and AB32 probably just made the decision a little more obvious.

  2. Dena says:

    For a while in July we would make a trip from Anaheim to Washington state going up I5. Often we would get behind a truck loaded with tomatoes. Some of them were heading to a plant for canning but I suspect a good deal of them were going to be made into soup. The is going to hurt more than just the people who can the tomatoes.
    Also, it is very strange that all three plants are located in left leaning states. Wisconsin, the home of the progressive movement is starting to get the word but it is possible if the left makes a comeback in wisconsin, we may be reading about them closing their last plant.

  3. Dave Cranfield says:

    You can bet CARB was counting on Campbell’s in Sacramento to be a major contributor to cap and trade. Based on a 2011 corporate report, Campbell’s worldwide emitted 850K tonnes CO2. I don’t know what percentage Campbell’s Sac emitted, but I’ll bet it was between 100k and 200K tonnes. Should CARB be successful in garnering $50 per tonne, more than $5 million in carbon credits just left the state.
    http://www.campbellsoupcompany.com/csr/success_performance_scorecard.asp

  4. Arthur M. Day. says:

    Seattle local TV news tonight announced the ComCast plan to open three call centers in WA. Tragic for the CA workers. Being a Devout Democrat means never having to say: “We made a mistake.” Toxic ProctoCraniosis.

  5. stevefrisch says:

    Hm…notice no mention of ghg emissions as driver of the Sacramento plant closing..

    http://www.kcra.com/news/Campbell-s-spokesman-explains-Sacramento-plant-closure/-/11797728/16763184/-/xpkwb7/-/index.html

    and a look at the California ghg emissions database and the EPA database shows that the Sacramento plant does not meet the25,000 metric ton emissions threshold requiring carbon offsets.

    http://ghgdata.epa.gov/ghgp/main.do

    But the Dixon and the Bakersfield plants do, and those are staying open.

    I wonder why? Could it be because the Sacramento plant was built in 1947?

    • Russ says:

      The plant is old and the packaging technology has changed and the cost and regulatory hurdles are too high to upgrade the plant in CA.

      • stevefrisch says:

        Yet Campbell recently upgraded both their Dixon and Bakersfield operations.

  6. Arthur M. Day. says:

    And the vile effects of the GHG swindle roll on.

  7. I believe Campbell closed their plant in Oregon a few years ago…according to a friend who lives there. Between the gov and unions it wasn’t worth it. Lots of jobs lost. It’s a sad state of affairs, but I guess it’s natural for creatures to not appreciate the water until the well runs dry.

  8. Sean says:

    A little burger stand closed in Sacramento over the weekend. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/01/4868919/longtime-land-park-restaurant.html A guy who filed serial nuisance lawsuits based on the ADA finally pushed the owner over the edge. Not CARB related but CA’s unique “private enforcement” of ADA did him in.

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