USA – Tyson Foods, an Arkansas-based meat and poultry company, has officially declared the permanent closure of its pork plant in Perry, Iowa.

The decision announced recently, marks the ninth facility closure for Tyson since early 2023 and is expected to result in the loss of over 1,200 manufacturing jobs.

The company spokesperson, in a statement, emphasized that while the decision was undoubtedly difficult, and underscores Tyson’s commitment to optimizing operational efficiency to better serve its customers.

“Iowa has been a key state for Tyson Foods, employing more than 9,000 team members across its various facilities.”

The mayor of nearby Des Moines, Dirk Cavanaugh, revealed that the plant is scheduled to close its operations on June 28, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, Tyson Foods, recognizing the impact on the affected employees, is actively working with Iowa officials to provide necessary resources and support during this transition.

The company has encouraged workers to explore opportunities within other roles across the organization.

The closure in Iowa comes on the heels of a challenging period for Tyson’s pork business, which has grappled with high grain costs but has shown signs of improvement recently.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company enjoyed significant profits amid a surge in meat prices, but more recently, its pork business reported an adjusted operating loss of US$128 million in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023.

This marked a significant decrease from the previous year’s income of US$198 million, with sales volumes decreasing by 2.2% and average prices dropping by 7.9%.

During Tyson’s earnings call last month, CEO Donnie King highlighted that an increased supply of hogs compared to 2023 has positively impacted the company’s margins in the pork sector.

To offset losses, companies like Tyson, Smithfield Foods, and JBS Foods have been implementing cost-cutting measures within their operations.

Tyson Foods, in particular, has announced the closure of eight facilities since the beginning of the previous year, including six chicken plants and two case-ready meat processing plants.

Despite these closures, Tyson is strategically investing in areas of its business with higher growth potential.

In January, the company inaugurated a US$355 million automated bacon processing plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky.


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