In a news release, Smithfield Foods announced that it will close its Charlotte, N.C., pork-processing plant and move the production from that plant to the Tar Heel, N.C., facility, in an attempt to increase efficiency and better utilize existing capacity.
Smithfield will provide financial and transition assistance to the 107 employees affected by the Charlotte closure, the company said, including discussing options such as transfer to other Smithfield locations. It will also provide financial incentives to hourly employees who remain on at the Charlotte plant until the final day of production in December.
The closure comes after Hong Kong-based WH Group Ltd. — Smithfield’s parent company — acknowledged a $409 million loss overall ($495 million in U.S. and Mexico alone) in the first six months of 2023. WH Group also reported in that announcement the soft demand in the pork markets and “abundant supplies,” which it expected to continue through the end of 2023.
Smithfield’s hog production division, Murphy-Brown LLC, was slated to close 35 hog farms this week, as announced in August.