Smithfield Foods will stop slaughtering pigs in Smithfield

July 12, 2021 GMT

SMITHFIELD, Va. (AP) — Smithfield Foods says it will no longer slaughter animals in the Virginia town where it was founded.

Chief Administrative Officer Keira Lombardo told The Virginian-Pilot on Monday that the decision comes after a months-long internal review.

Company leaders determined that production would be shifted to other U.S. facilities, she said. In the meantime, the company will spend $5 million to reconfigure the facility to produce packaged meat like bacon.

That means that hourly and salaried workers will be reassigned to other positions in the plant. A small number of affected salaried workers will have positions available at other facilities.

Smithfield’s meat processing facility employs around 1,900 people. The company has around 2,500 workers in Smithfield, including at corporate headquarters and at a product research and development facility.

Smithfield Foods was founded in 1936. In 2013, it was bought by Chinese firm WH Group, then known as Shuanghui.