A meat processing company is closing a harvesting and processing facility in California due to the rising costs of conducting business in the state.
Smithfield Foods said Friday it will close its operation in Vernon, California, in early 2023. The company said it is exploring avenues to reduce its sow herd in Utah and looking at "strategic options to exit its farms in Arizona and California." The facility only processes company-owned hogs and says it plans to serve consumers in the region with its Farmer John brand of pork from "existing facilities in the Midwest."
Smithfield will provide employees with relocation options and incentives and has reached an agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the International Union of Operating Engineers as part of its plan to close the Vernon facility.
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“We are grateful to our team members in the Western region for their dedication and invaluable contributions to our mission,” Smithfield Chief Operating Officer Brady Stewart said in a release. “We are committed to providing financial and other transition assistance to employees impacted by this difficult decision.”
Pork production in California has been under the microscope recently with the passage of Proposition 12, a measure that sets housing requirements for pork sold in the state. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case later this year.
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