“The closure of this facility, combined with a growing list of other protein plants that have shuttered across our industry, is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply,” the meat processor’s chief executive, Kenneth Sullivan, said in a statement Sunday.
“It is impossible to keep our grocery stores stocked if our plants are not running,” he said. “These facility closures will also have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions for many in the supply chain.”
The Sioux Falls, South Dakota, facility accounts for 4% to 5% of the country’s pork production and employs about 3,700 people, according to Smithfield.
Smithfield will maintain some activity in the plant on Tuesday to process its inventory, the company said, as it prepares to fully shut down, adding that it will compensate employees for the next two weeks.