The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 22, 2013

Furmano Foods furloughs 18 employees in 'slow' economy

By Ashley Wislock
The Daily Item

— NORTHUMBERLAND — A local agricultural company has laid off 18 employees after what the company said was “slower-than-planned” economic growth.

The layoffs at Furmano Foods took effect Tuesday, according to a press release by the company.

“Unfortunately, Furmano Foods is not immune to the current economic environment” Company President Chad Geise said in the release.

“The slow growth in our industry has extended our recovery from the floods of 2011. We were hopeful that we could withstand the current economic environment and overcome the challenges the flood created by making cuts to our expenditures without affecting our team. Unfortunately continued slower growth requires further corrective actions.”

Prior to the layoffs, Furmano’s, based in Northumberland, had 229 employees, Geise said.

Geise called the decision to lay off the 18 employees “difficult.”

“We are deeply saddened to have to reduce our workforce and impact the lives of 18 families who have dedicated themselves to Furmano Foods,” he said. “We remain grateful for their significant contributions and commitment over the years.”

Founded in 1921, Furmano’s produces canned and pouch tomato, bean, and vegetable products for both the retail grocery and food service segments, according to the company.

Geise remains optimistic about the potential for a turnaround in the industry, he said.

“We have been blessed to be in business for 92 years and are committed to growing our business in the Susquehanna Valley,” he said.