Opinion: Make the swine industry better before making it any bigger.

by 5m Editor
25 September 2006, at 9:45pm

FAYETTEVILLE, NC - Smithfield Foods Inc., now in the process of becoming the nation’s even-bigger biggest pork producer, will have the East Coast pretty much to itself after merging with Premium Standard Farms, which owns the giant processing plant in Clinton.

The biggest kid on the block is offering assurances that becoming the only kid on the block will not be dreadful news for North Carolina, whose 10 million hogs rank it right behind No. 1 Iowa. And the assurances are not vague.

First, Smithfield plans to maintain current production levels, which should translate to job stability for the thousands of workers at the Tar Heel slaughterhouse in Bladen County and in Clinton.

Second, Smithfield will honor all of Premium’s contracts and spread its business around among both company farms and contract producers.

Third, what’s bad news for Virginians working at a slicing-and-packaging plant targeted for closure is good news for the North Carolinians who land 130 to 140 jobs when the packaging operation moves to Tar Heel.

Source: Fayetteville Online

5m Editor