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Tyson shifting case-ready beef, pork production

Jan. 25, 2010
Tyson Foods Inc plans to shift some production from its Council Bluffs IA case-ready plant to its facilities in Goodlettsville TN and Sherman TX.

Continued growth of case-ready beef and pork sales in the Southern United States has prompted Tyson Foods Inc to make some adjustments in operations.

Tyson plans to shift some production from its Council Bluffs IA case-ready plant to its facilities in Goodlettsville TN and Sherman TX. The two plants are closer to the company’s customer base.

“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.”

A 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. This suspension will displace about 480 of the 1,300 people employed at the Council Bluffs plant. The workers will be encouraged to apply for openings within the company and also will be invited to a job fair Tyson officials plan to host. In addition, Tyson intends to work with state officials to ensure the employees are informed about unemployment benefits and any potential retraining 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 a 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.

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