Following news made just weeks ago about Monsanto slashing 2,600 jobs and ending $3 billion to buy back shares from investors, the biotech giant is now reporting that it will be closing 3 research and development centers in order to cut costs in the agricultural commodities market.
This is a relatively small loss of jobs, since only about 90 employees will become unemployed at the three R&D centers in Middleton, Wisconsin; Mystic, Connecticut, and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, which focuses on research on plant screening and phenotyping. Monsanto still has about 22,500 employees at over 400 worldwide facilities. It still represents, however, a notable loss in the US.
Monsanto will close the Middleton center in the first half of 2016, and the Mystic and Research Triangle Park locations in the second half of the year.
The three research centers currently employ 155 people. A Monsanto spokesman said the company plans to move about 65 of those jobs to its Chesterfield Research Village in the St. Louis, Missouri, area.
Monsanto employees were told of the job cuts this past week. Those who are offered jobs in St. Louis but refuse them will be offered a severance package.
Other workers affected by the closings will also be given a severance package, including pay, extended benefits, and educational assistance
Monsanto, which owns the facilities in Wisconsin and Connecticut, said it is looking for buyers for those properties and for a replacement tenant for its leased property in North Carolina.
With more and more consumers looking for non-GMO food, the heyday for biotech patented seed just might be coming to an end.