The company’s frozen chicken processing factory in the state of Minnesota will be closed on 29 December 2017.
Pilgrim’s, which has capacity to process around 34 million birds per week, will close the site as it seeks to shift production and equipment to more efficient facilities in the US.
Staff will be offered the chance to work at other factories, although Pilgrim’s did not specify which sites could absorb the extra workers. But there are two midwestern sites, based in Minnesota and Wisconsin, that are in the same geographic region as the soon-to-be-closed Luverne site, according to the company’s website.
‘Impact’ on families
“The Pilgrim’s team explored several options before arriving at the difficult decision to close the Luverne facility,” said Jayson Penn, head of Pilgrim’s USA.
“We recognise 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.”
Pilgrim’s has owned the Luverne facility since buying it from the city in 1998. Formerly a beef production facility, the site was converted to produce frozen and ready-to-cook chicken.
Closure of the factory will have no impact on the company’s overall production capacity and the business will continue to be responsible for producing one in five chickens eaten by Americans every year.