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Organic foods company will close East Bay factory, chop scores of jobs

RICHMOND — An organic foods company has decided to permanently close its plant in Richmond, a decision that will eliminate scores of jobs in the East Bay, according to an official state labor agency filing.

Nutiva, a maker of plant-based organic culinary foods, is laying off 63 workers in connection with the shutdown of the plant at 213 West Cutting Boulevard in Richmond, a WARN notice filed with the state Employment Development Department shows.

The Richmond facility includes offices and a warehouse.

The filing was issued in part as a notice of a plant shutdown, according to the WARN letter that Nutiva sent the EDD.

“This action is expected to be permanent. The entire plant will be closed,” Prapti Rana, Nutiva’s director of people and culture, wrote in the WARN letter.

Nutiva was founded in 1999 by John Roulac, an entrepreneur who launched Nutiva as a producer of hemp seed bars. In 2002, Nutiva introduced its first organic coconut oil product.

In the wake of booming growth, Nutiva shifted its principal operations in 2012 from Sebastopol in Sonoma County and relocated its offices and warehouse to the West Cutting Boulevard site in Richmond.

Nutiva’s products include organic hemp protein powder, organic virgin coconut oil, organic hemp seed oil, organic plant protein powder, organic shelled hemp seeds and organic chia seeds, the company’s website states.

The layoffs in Richmond are expected to occur on June 1 of this year, except for the warehouse department. Warehouse workers will be laid off on July 1, the date on the plant is expected to be completely closed, according to the WARN notice.


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