Specialty ingredients company Ingredion will cut 35 positions from its Cedar Rapids facility effective Feb. 4, according to a WARN notice filed with Iowa Workforce Development. Ingredion spokeswoman Becca Hary said 10 of those people are being moved to different positions at the plant.
The Cedar Rapids plant has stopped producing ethanol, Hary confirmed to The Gazette, although it will continue to produce industrial starch there.
The Cedar Rapids facility is Ingredion’s only ethanol-producing plant.
Reuters first reported Ingredion’s decision to halt ethanol production.
“We continuously evaluate the use of our facilities as part of our overall Cost Smart strategy to optimize our resources, streamline costs and increase our productivity levels,” Hary said in an emailed statement.
Iowa’s ethanol industry has taken a $2.5 billion hit because of coronavirus, according to Iowa State’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development.
Ethanol producers in the state also have pointed to trade tariffs and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency actions as part of a “perfect storm” facing the industry.
Following the layoffs, Ingredion will have about 175 employees at its Cedar Rapids plant, Hary said.
“At this time, our main focus is for the respect and care of our employees, and we are committed to supporting them during this transition,” Hary said.
The First Street SW facility marked its 125th anniversary last year.
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Westchester, Ill.-based Ingredion has owned the facility since 2015, when it acquired Penford for $340 million.
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