Barber Foods to lay off 79 employees in Portland

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PORTLAND — Barber Foods will lay off 79 more employees in the wake of its acquisition by AdvancePierre Foods, Barber President David Barber said in press release Monday.

Cincinnati, Ohio-based AdvancePierre acquired Barber in 2011 and began laying off workers almost immediately. The local food processing company employed 660 people in July 2011; it will have a workforce of under 400 after the latest layoffs.

The layoffs are driven by investments in technology at the company’s plant on St. John Street, Barber said. Employees who lose their jobs will receive 60 days notice and severance pay, according to the press release.

“We regret that these important investments in our facility have resulted in job loss, and will do what we can to work with local businesses to identify and facilitate opportunities,” Barber said. “However, AdvancePierre has invested millions of dollars to maximize efficiency here. Our company is committed to growing the Barber brand, so our future is bright in Portland.”