Nestlé USA, a subsidiary of the global food giant Nestlé S.A., is closing a frozen pizza and ice cream distribution facility in Farmingdale by the end of the year and is laying off 39 employees there, according to a state filing.
Layoffs at the operation, located at 565 Broadhollow Rd., are expected to begin Oct. 18 and will continue until the plant closes on Dec. 31, the company said in its state WARN notice. The company said it is shifting away from direct-store delivery to a “warehouse distribution model” for its pizza and ice cream business.
Nestlé USA product lines include Tombstone, DiGiorno and California Kitchen Pizza frozen pizzas, and Dreyer’s, Edy’s and Haagen Dazs ice cream
WARN, the state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, requires companies with at least 50 full-time employees to file a notice of a mass layoff or closing 90 days in advance. The state posted the notice on its website last week.
In May, Nestlé USA announced plans to transition to a new distribution model and said it would lead to the closure of eight company-owned frozen-food distribution centers and frozen-inventory transfer points.
The impacted employees “have worked incredibly hard to serve our customers,” Steve Presley, chairman and chief executive of Nestlé USA, said in a statement in May. “Treating them with respect through this process is a top priority for us, and we are committed to doing all we can to provide them information, resources and support.”
The move will allow the company to “leverage the highly efficient warehouse network that Nestlé already uses for its frozen meals and snacks, which will enable the company to better meet the needs of retail customers and consumers,” the company said in a news release at the time.
“As we continue to focus on driving long-term profitable growth, leveraging a simpler route to market unlocks resources we can use to fuel our efforts in demand generation, such as product innovation and brand building,” Presley said.
Nestlé USA plans to complete the companywide transition to its new model by the second quarter of next year.
Earlier this year, Nestlé Waters, a separate company under Switzerland-based Nestlé S.A., was granted an additional 10 years of tax breaks on its Syosset distribution facility by the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency amid pushback from a local school district and a homeowners' group.
Nestlé Waters, the largest bottled water company in the country, requested the tax breaks in April to extend a deal that has reduced its property taxes since 2008.
The business unit sells water under the Poland Spring, Arrowhead, Deer Park and Nestlé Pure Life brand names, among others.