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Smithfield Foods Stops Pig Slaughter at Local Factory in U.S.

File photo: Workers leave Smithfield Foods’ pork factory on April 16, 2020 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA, as the epidemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues.Reuters / Shannon Stapleton / File Photo

July 13, 2021

Tom Polansec

Chicago (Reuters) – Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork processor, will stop slaughter of pigs in the so-called ham capital of the United States, where the company was founded 85 years ago.

The end of slaughterhouse in Smithfield, Virginia, is the latest restructuring of the company’s factory of the same name, following a month-long internal review of its East Coast operations, Smithfield Foods said in a statement.

Owned by Hong Kong-listed WH Group Ltd, the company has moved the slaughter to some of its 47 other US facilities, spending $ 5 million to upgrade its Virginia plant, and more packaged bacon, ham, and more. Produces pork products, said Chief Kiera Lombardo. Administrative officer.

Smithfield, Virginia, is a historical tourist destination of Smithfield Foods and boasts the world’s oldest ham museum.

The company remodeled its factory in 2019 to ship carcasses of pigs to China, the world’s largest consumer of pork, and last year also supplied more pork to US customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

US meat companies have been monitored for illness and death of factory workers during a pandemic, and the closure of a slaughterhouse has highlighted supply chain vulnerabilities.

Smithfield’s facility is capable of killing about 10,000 pigs a day, but kills about 7,000 to 7,500 pigs a day, said Steve Meyer, an economist at Production Agriculture Consultant Partners. I am.

He said fewer pigs would be slaughtered along the east coast after the farm was closed.

“Removing the plant probably doesn’t have much effect,” Meyer said. “As long as pig supply and capacity contrast this fall, it makes us a perfect country.”

Maxwell Foods, an East Coast pig supplier, said it closed Smithfield Foods last year and filed a lawsuit in breach of the contract.

Smithfield Foods said its employees will be reassigned to other positions at the Virginia plant, which has about 1,900 workers. According to the company, a small number of people will be able to use their positions at other facilities.

(Report by Tom Polansek, edited by Cynthia Osterman)

Smithfield Foods Stops Pig Slaughter at Local Factory in U.S.

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