Butterball official blames ethanol policy for latest job cuts
February 18, 2009
by Bryan Salvage
RALEIGH, N.C. – Due to increased grain and other input costs as well as future demand projections, Butterball LLC plans to cut approximately 150 positions at its Huntsville, Ark. facility, according to a news release. The cuts are scheduled to begin around March 9.
"During the past year, we have had to make many difficult decisions regarding the fiscal health of our business," said Keith Shoemaker, Butterball chief executive officer. "With this country’s current economic situation, knowing that we have to reduce our number of employees is all the more difficult. Government ethanol subsidies and record-high fuel prices for much of 2008 contributed to a major increase in our operating costs. It is sad that our government continues to put the poultry industry, both our farmers and our workers, at a disadvantage with its subsidies for the ethanol industry."
Butterball LLC is the largest producer of turkey products in the United States. Headquartered in Garner, N.C., it was formed in October 2006 when Carolina Turkeys acquired the Butterball brand from ConAgra Foods. Butterball employs 6,000 associates throughout its seven-plant locations and corporate offices.
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