Smithfield Foods to close Missouri hog production operations
The layoffs are slated for Oct. 8
Smithfield Foods Inc, the world’s biggest pork processor, will close some of its operations and lay off 92 workers in northwestern Missouri this fall, Reuters reported, citing the state’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) data.
The layoffs are “specific to our Missouri hog production (farm) operations,” a Smithfield spokesperson said in an email.
The layoffs are slated for Oct. 8, according to the data. The notice was received by the state on Friday.
Smithfield is owned by Hong Kong’s WH Group.
The US meat industry has struggled with declining profits and reduced demand from consumers squeezed by inflation and higher interest rates. Amid spiraling feed and labour costs, meat companies have struggled to predict demand for their products.
Neither Smithfield nor the WARN data identified which specific facilities are impacted in Lucerne, Princeton and Newtown, Missouri. Smithfield has sow farms located in northern and northwest Missouri.
News of the Smithfield layoffs come as Tyson Foods said it is shutting four more chicken plants – in Arkansas, Indiana and Missouri – to cut costs, a blow to small communities in the US heartland that depend on the meatpacker for nearly 3,000 jobs.
Tyson also said that average prices for its pork fell by 16.4% in the quarter that ended on July 1, while pork sales volumes dropped 1.8%.