Keurig: We’re Committed to Vermont Operations Despite Cuts
Keurig Green Mountain says it remains committed to its Vermont operations, despite cutting 200 jobs at its Waterbury, Vt., facility.
The total number of jobs eliminated at Keurig operations throughout North America was 330, or five percent of its workforce. In Vermont, the figure was closer to nine percent of the company’s overall workforce, so the state took a disproportionate hit.
Suzanne DuLong, vice president of corporate communications with Keurig, said the cuts in Vermont are directly tied to sluggish demand for the company’s hot beverage brewing systems.
In a quarterly earnings report last week, the company laid out plans to reinvigorate sales of the systems, by introducing lower-priced models.
If that effort is successful it won’t necessarily mean jobs will return to Waterbury.
“I won’t speculate today, given what we’ve just been through. Our CEO Brian Kelley has articulated clearly that we are not satisfied with our results for the quarter and we’re working hard to execute a strategy in the market place that involves reclaiming some of the growth the hot system had previously,” DuLong said.
“As we grow that hot system, all of our manufacturing facilities, all of our technology facilities will benefit,” she added.
DuLong said there’s always some movement of jobs between Keurig’s facilities in North America, adding there are no plans to transfer a significant number of jobs out of Vermont.
A recently named chief financial officer will be based in Massachusetts, unlike his predecessor who worked in Vermont, but DuLong said that does not signal a movement of other jobs out of state, including those working under the CFO.
“We are committed to our operations in Vermont and we plan to continue being one of the largest corporate employers,” DuLong said.
DuLong said the company will maintain its commitment to philanthropic work like an $11 million pledge to non-profit organizations working on water security. She said Keurig’s pledge to make all K-cups recyclable remains in place.
“The recyclability of all of our pods is an issue we take very seriously. We are committed to our target of having 100 percent of our pods recyclable by 2020,” DuLong said.
Keurig is also poised to introduce a cold beverage system later this year. DuLong said an Essex, Vt., manufacturing facility has been adding jobs in conjunction with the roll-out of the new system.