Kellogg Co. announced Thursday that it plans to cut 223 jobs in Battle Creek in 2018.

The cuts are expected to affect salaried and hourly employees of the company's ready-to-eat cereal (RTEC) plant on Porter Street.

"Today, we are announcing our intent to simplify and streamline our operations by focusing each of our RTEC plants on at least two scaled manufacturing platforms, such as rice or bran," Kellogg spokesman Kris Charles said in a prepared statement. "If finalized, these changes would optimize the capacity we currently have, allow for future growth and decrease the total cost-per-pound in our RTEC network, which will improve margins."

Charles said the company plans to simplify operations at the Battle Creek plant to "increase production of its bran cereals and invest in bumped rice production for Rice Krispies Treats, two platforms that are growing."

Kellogg plans to idle two existing lines at the plant, but keep them in place and ready should the need for more production arise.

Charles said the company is giving union leaders an opportunity to study the pending decision and provide feedback before a final decision is made. She expects the process to take about 60 days.

If finalized, the jobs would begin to be cut in early 2018 and completed by the end of the year.

Kellogg also plans to work with community leaders to find job opportunities, information and support for the displaced workers.

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