Menu Foods continues to recover after their massive pet food recalls that began in March.
Chief Executive Officer Paul Henderson said production at the Menu Foods Midwest plant in Emporia, Kansas (pictured here) has improved, but it still could be some time before the plant reaches pre-recall levels.
The Emporia plant was one of two Menu Foods plants that shipped tainted pet food.
The plant shut down on March 23 temporarily. After the plant re-opened in April, production remained below usual levels and some workers at the plant were not immediately called back on the job. Henderson said employment levels at Emporia plant are still below what they previously were before the recall.
The CEO of Menu Foods added that production began to improve around mid-year when a majority of the company’s private label customers started buying from Menu Foods again.
The company’s sales fell by 44 percent in the second quarter due to the recall.
Menu Foods resumed shipments of cuts and gravy products during the latter part of the second quarter. The company saw a jump in sales during July as their customers rebuilt their inventories. Henderson said they do not expect sales to continue at that high level, but customers rebuilding their inventory is the next step in reestablishing business.
Henderson estimated the direct costs of the recall at almost $43 million in U.S. dollars. He said the company had to bear other impacts of the recall like postponed, canceled or returned orders. Menu Foods is filling new orders and has seen a trend of increased sales since the second quarter.
He said: “We remain focused on providing quality pet food products for consumers.â€
In regards to the melamine tainted products from China, Henderson said: “This fraud on manufacturers and consumers was unlike anything seen before in the pet or human food business.â€
Henderson said everyone at Menu Foods is doing what they can to rebuild business and seek out new growth.
Source: Emporia Gazette