SmithFields Vernon Plant Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced it is shutting down a hog plant in California because of the exorbitant costs of doing business in the Golden State.
Smithfield Foods, Inc. – bought by China-based pork juggernaut the WH Group in 2013 – made the announcement in a press release Friday, stating it is halting “all harvest and processing operations” at its Vernon, California, facility early next year. Compared to plants in other states, utility cost in California “is 3.5 times higher per head to produce pork,” the Wall Street Journal reported a company spokesman as saying.
“It’s increasingly challenging to operate efficiently there,” Smithfield spokesman Jim Monroe told the publication. “We’re striving to keep costs down and keep food affordable.”
Smithfield is further looking into exiting its California and Arizona farms and intends to scale back its sow herd in Utah, per the release.
“Smithfield is taking these steps due to the escalating cost of doing business in California,” the release noted.
Some 1,800 employees work at the Vernon plant, according to the Journal , and Smithfield said it is “providing transition assistance to all impacted employees.” Employees are being presented with options to relocate to new facilities “as well as retention incentives to ensure business continuity until early next year,” Smithfield stated.
Smithfield and a number of labor unions came to an agreement in recent days as part of the plan to shutter the plant.
“We are grateful to our team members in the Western region for their dedication and invaluable contributions to our mission,” said Chief Operating Officer Brady Stewart. “We are committed to providing financial and other transition assistance to employees impacted by this difficult decision.”Earlier this month, Breitbart News reported that rising farm inflation has driven up costs of production for farmers: April Prices Paid Index for Commodities and Services, Interest, […]
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