Smithfield Packing, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, plans to close its Bedford plant as part of its restructuring of its East Coast pork-processing operations. About 139 Bedford employees could lose their jobs or be transferred by mid-October.
Smithfield Packing is shuffling its East Coast operations – located in North Carolina, Maryland, Florida and Virginia – in order to trim costs and become more efficient. The restructuring resulted in more than $26 million in pre-tax costs for Smithfield Foods last fiscal year, which ended April 30.
The Bedford plant, located about halfway between Lynchburg and Roanoke in central Virginia, produced case-ready meat – a category that includes pork chops. Case-ready products represent a fast-growing part of the company’s business.