Del Monte halting Hawaii operations, laying off 551 workers
According to the Associated Press, Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. said that it will halt its Hawaii operations immediately—well ahead of a 2008 closing announced this year. Del Monte said it will lay off 551 workers on or around Jan. 22. Del Monte announced in February that it was leaving Hawaii because it was no longer economically feasible to grow pineapple in the state. The company''s last pineapple crop, which was planted later that month, will produce fruit through mid-2008. The move leaves Dole Food Co. as the only major pineapple grower on the island of Oahu. Maui Pineapple Co. is the state''s largest remaining pineapple producer, farming more than 6,000 acres on Maui.