Published online: Jan 17, 2008 Alan Harman
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North American Foods, more commonly known as RDO Foods, is to close its dehydrated potato flake processing plant in Grand Forks, N.D., on March 15.

The plant employs about 125 people.

R.D. Offutt Co. and United II Potato Growers of Idaho Inc. formed North American Foods last July with each company contributing assets.

At the time, North American Foods owned and operated plants in Lewisville, Dubois, and Idaho Falls, Idaho, as well as Grand Forks, N.D. and Winnemucca, Nev. The company also operated plants in Glenns Ferry and Rupert, Idaho, and had a processing agreement with Idaho Supreme Potatoes Inc. of Firth, Idaho.

North American Foods produces retail, food service and warehouse club brand of potato products under the brand name of Idahoan.

Offutt holds the majority interest in North American Foods, which is based in Lewisville, Idaho.

Employees at the dehydrated potato flake processing plant said they were given 60 days notice and told that they would receive no severance pay.

A memorandum given to employees said the plant would complete processing raw potatoes by mid-February. It will then complete sorting, bagging and shipping operations and begin closure preparations.

"The decision to close the plant was a result of the company's ability to bundle resources and increase efficiencies to better serve customers," the memorandum says.