121 workers in Joplin are given notice they already have, or soon will lose their jobs. Workers at Mars PetCare heard the news on Tuesday.
The facility has been there since the 1950's and officials from the company's headquarters in Tennessee were in Joplin to discuss the closure and layoffs.
At first glance it may look like the facility has already closed. A security guard told us he and another security guard were about the only workers still there. But the Joplin plant still makes dry dog food such as Pedigree.
A Mars PetCare official says there's simply been less demand in stores for dry dog food. The official says the market has shifted towards smaller dogs.
Workers at the corporate office say the 121 workers in Joplin have been offered severance pay and other assistance.
"We've seen some changes in the market so we've seen a shift to smaller dogs which means less volume of dry pet food and then we've seen some of our retailers kind of diversify their operations and have many suppliers," says Julie Lawless of Mars PetCare. "We have 13 manufacturing facilities that make a variety of dry pet food, wet, and then the snacks and treats, and so some of the volume here will move to some of the other plants."
There are also Mars PetCare plants in Miami, Oklahoma and Galena, Kansas. Those two plants produce different products and will remain open.
The Joplin facility will continue to produce dog biscuits for private label companies such as Target until September. After that the Joplin facility will close for good.