The J.M. Smucker Co. will cut 700 personnel and shutter almost 20 percent of its plants nationwide.

But Ripon will be spared.

Instead, as Smucker’s prepares to go through hard times nationwide, it plans to re-invest in its Ripon plant, positioning the local maker of fruit spreads and condiments to possibly even grow in the future. 

Yet it easily could have been a different story.

While Ripon’s plant will become even more important to Smucker’s, it too could have been closed.

“All [of Smucker’s facilities nationwide] were considered for closure,” said Maribeth Badertscher, spokesperson for Smucker’s.

A consideration of all its plants, though, led to a decision to make Ripon’s fruit-spread plant to be the only such facility Smucker’s would continue operating outside of its hometown of Orrville, Ohio.

As part of a $150-million improvement plan, Smucker’s will re-invest in the Ripon facility, as well as build a new plant Orrville.

The efforts are all part of a national plan to improve Smucker’s supply chain and strengthen the company as a whole.

Read the full story in the April 1, 2010 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.