Cargill to sell Texas plant

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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PLAINVIEW, Texas – Cargill announced it will sell its Plainview, Texas, beef plant which has been closed for two years. The company retained the Dallas office of CBRE, a commercial real estate broker, to market the site and evaluate potential offers.

“For the past two-and-a-half years we’ve closely monitored the cattle supply in the US, hoping for a faster recovery from the drought,” John Keating, president of Cargill’s Wichita, Kan.-based beef business, said in a statement.  “We don’t see conditions in the Texas panhandle improving to the point where it would make sense to reopen our Plainview beef plant, especially with excess processing capacity remaining in the region.”     

Cargill closed the plant on Feb. 1, 2013, citing tight supplies of cattle, the impact of country of origin labeling and the controversy surrounding finely textured beef as reasons for its actions. Approximately 2,000 employees worked at the plant. Cargill redirected cattle that were destined for processing at the Plainview facility to the company’s remaining beef processing plants in Friona, Texas, Dodge City, Kan., and Fort Morgan, Colo.

The company noted that plant closures continue as beef processing overcapacity persists — even as market conditions have improved in some regions. The United States cattle herd dropped to its lowest number since 1951, and rebuilding of the nation’s herd currently is underway. Herd rebuilding is a slow process because each heifer/cow produces a single calf yearly, Cargill said. 

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