Cargill, Inc., on Friday announced that it plans to lay off up to 2,000 employees-or about 1.5 percent of its global work force-over the next six months.
The layoffs are due to "the continued weak global economy and are part of an overall effort to reduce expenses and simplify work processes," the company said.
Wayzata-based Cargill has 138,000 employees working in 63 countries. The company-which employs about 6,600 in Minnesota-hasn't yet determined how many layoffs will occur in the state, according to a Star Tribune report.
The cuts-which began last week-will be made across the company and will not be concentrated in any specific city, country, or region, Cargill spokeswoman Lisa Clemens told the Minneapolis newspaper.
Cargill said that it is providing affected employees severance packages and outplacement support.
"As economic conditions change, so must we," Mike Fernandez, corporate vice president of Cargill corporate affairs, said in a statement. "Regrettably, this impacts talented people who have made important contributions to our company. These are difficult decisions but are necessary to better position the company for continued growth."
In its quarter that ended on August 31, Cargill's profits were down 66 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Clemens told the Star Tribune that the layoffs could cut across many types of jobs, including marketing, production, and research.
Cargill is Minnesota's largest privately held company based on revenue, which totaled $119.5 billion in its fiscal year that ended in May. The company is a producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial, and industrial products and services.