In order to optimize its supply chain, Smithfield Foods has announced it will end contracts with 26 hog farms in Utah, resulting in the elimination of Smithfield employees that support those contract farm relationships as well.
Smithfield said in the announcement that the move was intended to help “optimize its supply chain for more efficient operations in the face of an industry oversupply of pork, weaker consumer demand and high feed prices.”
The company also said it would offer relocation opportunities and provide transition assistance for the affected employees. It was anticipated that as many as 33% of the 210 Smithfield Utah hog production operations positions would be eliminated.
Shane Smith, Smithfield Foods president and CEO, said difficult decisions such as these are necessary, as the company also has rebalanced production with East Coast harvest capacity, reduced sow herd in Missouri and closed finishing operations in Utah in order to remain competitive under current industry marketplace conditions.