Smithfield Foods, Inc. today announced that it will cease all harvest and processing operations in Vernon, California in early 2023 and, at the same time, align its hog production system by reducing its sow herd in its Western region. The company will decrease its sow herd in Utah and is exploring strategic options to exit its farms in Arizona and California. Smithfield harvests only company-owned hogs in Vernon. Smithfield will service customers in California with its Farmer John brand and other brands and products from existing facilities in the Midwest.
Smithfield is taking these steps due to the escalating cost of doing business in California.
Smithfield is providing transition assistance to all impacted employees, including relocation options to other company facilities and farms as well as retention incentives to ensure business continuity until early next year. The company reached an agreement this week 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.
“We are grateful to our team members in the Western region for their dedication and invaluable contributions to our mission. We are committed to providing financial and other transition assistance to employees impacted by this difficult decision,” said Smithfield Chief Operating Officer Brady Stewart.
Smithfield provides more than 40,000 American jobs at 46 facilities and nearly 500 company-owned farms.