PETALUMA -- Weetabix North America, owner of the Barbara's brand of Puffins breakfast cereals and other snacks, today announced plans to relocate its local operations to Massachusetts in the next six months, affecting 24 jobs.

The affiliate of United Kingdom-based Weetabix said in a statement that the move of marketing, sales, finance, customer service, human resources and all other business functions from the Petaluma facility to its plant in Clinton, Mass., is intended "to unify business functions and operate and compete more efficiently." It's part of a streamlining of North American distribution of Barbara's, Weetabix and Alpen brands, the company said.

"By creating unified business processes and systems, Weetabix and its Barbara's brand will be even better-positioned to continue to offer all-natural, delicious, nutritious and affordable cereals and snacks to families throughout the country," the company said.

Weetabix North America said it will be working with local employees on custom "personal transition plans."

"Barbara’s is proud of the organic teaching gardens created in the Petaluma School District as a result of a 10-year, $50,000 grant and of the thousands of volunteer hours its employees have dedicated to area not-for-profit organizations over the years," the company said.

In 1971 at age 17, Barbara Jaffe started Barbara's Bakery as a maker of natural foods in Palo Alto. She sold the company to Weetabix in 1986. Barbara's Bakery moved two years later to a 50,000-square-foot distribution center and offices at 3900 Cypress Dr. in Petaluma.

Just last year, Weetabix revamped Barbara's brand packaging with images of the Petaluma area.