Farmers Investment Co. is shutting down its pecan processing plant in Sahuarita, laying off approximately 130 employees at the end of this year.
FICO will continue to grow pecans on its farms, but another U.S. processor will shell the pecans, the company said, citing a challenging global pecan market.
Tariffs, low-cost competition from Mexican pecan processors and the financial impacts of COVID-19 were all factors, the company said.
“These factors combined to make it unsustainable to continue shelling pecans in Sahuarita,” FICO said in a news release.
Fico employs a total of 270 employees. Those who are being laid off will receive a severance package.
The processing plant will continue shelling into December, and customer orders will ship through January and February. The pecan store will close in early 2022.
After processing operations end, the plant will remain an in-shell cold storage and shipping facility for the pecans grown on the FICO farms, the news release said.
The company said it continues to make significant investments in its farming operations, including a pipeline to increase groundwater recharge and completion of the second phase of a new pecan cleaning plant.