WARWICK, ENGLAND — Pilgrim’s UK, a business unit of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., officially closed its Ashton-under-Lyne, England, processing plant last week.

A month ago, the company announced the consideration of the closure, which was part of an ongoing footprint review as Pilgrim’s sought the best strategy for growth and development during the current unfavorable market conditions in the United Kingdom. A major factor in the company’s decision was the contraction of the UK cow herd by about 15%.

The Ashton plant closure affected over 500 employees, all of whom Pilgrim’s said it would provide support and guidance for.

“Pilgrim’s UK has transferred its existing operations to its abattoir and butchery facilities in Spalding and Westerleigh,” said a Pilgrim’s UK spokesperson. “Pilgrim’s UK worked closely with the site team and customers to ensure quality and service levels were maintained throughout this process.”

Earlier in 2023, Pilgrim’s UK announced plant closures for its Bury St Edmunds and Coalville pork operations as well.