Yesterday, Farmers Investment Co (FICO) announced it is closing its pecan processing plant in Sahuarita at the end of this year. Another U.S. processor will shell pecans grown by FICO.
FICO is taking this action because of a challenging global pecan market resulting from tariffs, low-cost competition from Mexican pecan processors, and the financial impacts from COVID-19. These factors combined to make it unsustainable to continue shelling pecans in Sahuarita. Approximately 130 of FICO’s 270 total employees will be affected by today’s announcement.
Those employees have been notified and will be provided a severance package. The processing plant will complete shelling into December 2021, and customer orders will ship through January and February 2022. FICO will continue growing pecans on its farms in the Santa Cruz Valley and San Simon. FICO continues to make significant investments in its farming operations.
These investments include a pipeline to increase groundwater recharge and completion of the second phase of the new pecan cleaning plant. After processing operations end, the plant will remain an in-shell cold storage & shipping facility for the pecans grown on the FICO farms.