SMITHFIELD, Va – Smithfield Foods released a statement on Sept. 5 saying that it will close its distribution center in Clayton, North Carolina, and relocate all operations to a distribution facility in Tar Heel, North Carolina. The transition is scheduled to begin Oct. 7.
The company stated that it invested $100 million in the new Tar Heel facility along with creating 250 new jobs. However, 102 salaried and hourly jobs in Clayton will be impacted, according to Smithfield.
“While these necessary changes are difficult, we at Smithfield are committed to supporting Clayton facility employees through this transition by providing opportunities to apply for positions at the new Tar Heel location as well as other operations throughout the company,” Dennis Organ, Smithfield Foods senior vice president of supply chain and direct store delivery, said in a statement.
Organ added that Smithfield communicated with employees and government entities in accordance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988.
In Aug. 2017, Smithfield announced that the distribution center would be 500,000 sq. ft. with 47,000 pallet positions. The company also said the facility would include a blast cell cold storage expansion with a storage capacity of 140 million lbs.
The Tar Heel facility is regarded as the largest pork processing plant in the world. It currently processes 30,000 hogs per day and employs 5,000 people.