Castleberry's owners not ready for decision on Augusta plant

The Canadian-based owner of Castleberry’s Meat Co. announced this morning that it isn’t ready with its review on whether to keep the Augusta stew and chili manufacturer.


During Connors Bros. Income Fund second quarter financial review, executives said production at Castleberry’s is stable and performing to expectations.

A year ago, the Augusta plant shut down due to a recall for botulism poisoning in its chili sauce. The recall cost the income fund more than $35 million.

Sales of Castleberry products have not yet recovered, reported chief executive Chris Lischewski.

“We still have not regained distribution at our largest customer, which is Wal-Mart,” Mr. Lischewski said this morning.

The firm is doing fine financially because sales of its seafood products is covering the losses in the meat division.

A review of the meat division continues. Mr. Lischewski said the firm was aiming to have that review done by now, but it is a complex process. He said a report on whether to keep the meat division – which also includes poultry marketed through Bumble Bee Foods – should be ready for board review some time in the next three months.



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