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Knouse Foods Applesauce Plant To Close

Company is closing its applesauce plant in West Virginia in November because of a declining supply of apples.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) -- Knouse Foods Cooperative Inc. is closing its applesauce plant in Berkeley County because of a declining supply of apples.

Adams County, Pa.-based Knouse Foods also cited the need for major infrastructure improvements at the Inwood plant.

Knouse says the plant will close Nov. 14. But the cooperative plans to maintain its warehousing, storage and distribution business in Inwood.

About 90 jobs are being eliminated. Employees will be offered positions at Knouse's facilities in Pennsylvania.

President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Guise says the area's orchards have been replaced by housing developments, and the cooperative needs to be where its growers are.

A 2004 state survey showed that Berkeley County lost nearly 70,000 apple trees from 1994 to 2004.

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