Sector News

Pilgrim’s to close US processing facility

October 25, 2017
Food & Drink

Brazilian-owned American food company Pilgrim’s Pride has announced that it will close its Luverne, Minnesota, US, poultry processing facility, which employs approximately 200 people, effective December 29, 2017.

The decision to close the facility will allow Pilgrim’s to shift production and equipment to more efficient operations to enhance synergies and better serve the company’s key customers, the company’s press release states. In total, Pilgrim’s currently employs approximately 55,000 people and operates chicken processing plants and prepared foods facilities in 14 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the UK, Ireland and continental Europe.

“The Pilgrim’s team explored several options before arriving at the difficult decision to close the Luverne facility,” says Jayson Penn, Head of Pilgrim’s USA. “We recognize the impact this has on our Luverne team, their families and the local community, and we will make every effort to assist in future job placement, including relocation opportunities at other company locations for all impacted employees.”

Acquired in 1998 from the city, the Luverne, Minnesota, processing plant was a former beef production facility belonging to red meat processor IBP that was converted to produce frozen and convenience chicken products.

Production capabilities at Luverne will be transferred to other nearby Pilgrim’s facilities. The facility closure will have no impact on the company’s overall production capacity, according to the Pilgrim’s press release.

The news of a facility closure in the US comes shortly after Pilgrim’s Pride announced that it was getting a deeper European foothold with its acquisition of Northern Ireland-based poultry producer Moy Park in a deal valued at about US$1.3bn. “We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Moy Park, which will position Pilgrim’s to become a global player, with an improved and more stable margin profile on the chicken business and an expanded portfolio of prepared foods,” said Bill Lovette, Pilgrim’s CEO, last month.

Pilgrim’s Pride also acquired US rival chicken producer GNP Co for US$350m last year.

Source: Food Ingredients First

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