Citing southern market growth for case-ready beef and pork, Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark.,
said itplans to shift some production from its Council Bluffs, Iowa, case-ready plant to facilities in Goodlettsville, Tenn., and Sherman, Texas.
Officials said the adjustments also help Tyson "make more effective use of its existing case-ready production capacity."
“Our overall case-ready business is operating successfully and we must continue to control costs and improve efficiencies,” said Gary Sheneman, senior vice president of case-ready beef and pork for Tyson. “We believe shifting some production from Council Bluffs to our other plants is the right thing to do for our overall business, which continues to grow and diversify its customer base. The unfortunate downside is the impact on some of our employees.”
portion of second shift case-ready production at the Council Bluffs
plant will be suspended in mid-March and subsequently handled by the
company’s two other case-ready facilities, which have available
capacity. The suspension will displace approximately 480 of the 1,300 people employed at the Council Bluffs plant.
Tyson said it will encourage workers to apply for openings within the company. In addition, Tyson said it also will work with state officials to ensure the employees are informed about unemployment benefits and any potential re-training opportunities.
“We believe the Council Bluffs plant will remain an important part of our case-ready beef and pork business and continue to benefit the local economy,” Sheneman said. “In fact, if enough additional case-ready business develops in the Midwest, we’ll consider reinstating the production we’re suspending at Council Bluffs.”
Tyson’s case-ready facilities use beef and pork from Tyson Fresh Meats’ operations to produce packages of steaks, roasts, chops, ground beef and other items that are ready for retail grocers to place directly into the meat case.
Tyson Fresh Meats, formerly IBP, began a small scale case-ready operation at Council Bluffs in early 1999. Production at Council Bluffs subsequently grew, and in 2001 the company opened a case-ready plant in Goodlettsville. The Sherman plant began operations in 2006.