Cargill closing Big Lake facility amid shift in demand due to COVID-19

Cargill is closing one of its Minnesota facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company told KSTP Tuesday it’s temporarily closing its Big Lake facility due to significant shifts in demand and slowdowns in food service.

With that decision, the company said it will temporarily lay off employees at the facility. Affected employees will be eligible for unemployment and an extension for benefits for up to six months and some will also receive an additional two weeks of pay, Cargill said.

According to the company’s website, more than 200 employees work at the Big Lake facility.

"We are hopeful this will be a short-term move and will work with our employees regularly on a return-to-work timeline," a spokesperson for the company told KSTP.

"We care about our people. Our focus is on getting our employees back to work as soon as safely possible," added Jon Nash, leader of Cargill Protein – North America. "Every person affected is a valued member of our team. Our employees are working hard to keep food on tables in local communities. Cargill provides an essential service to the world. While some locations are closed, our work does not stop. We’re working with customers every day to keep protein on shelves."