Iowa Quality Meats to close Des Moines plant

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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DES MOINES, IOWA — Iowa Quality Meats will stop production of its portioned and roast ready pork products and close its plant in Des Moines. The closing affects about 95 employees. Some production will stop immediately.

Joseph Sebring, president of John Morrell, the parent company of Iowa Quality Meats, said shuttering the plant was the result of it not meeting financial expectations.

"This was a difficult but necessary decision," Mr. Sebring said. "The plant has been running substantially below capacity and losing money for several years and, after a thorough analysis, the economics of operating the current production dictate that we close the facility. We know that this will create adversity for the employees affected and we will be providing assistance to them to find future employment."

He also said the company is considering alternate uses for the facility, given its recent renovation, but a decision has not been made.

In 1998, the employee-owners of Iowa Quality Meats sold the company to John Morrell, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., Smithfield, Va. The company packaged roasts, chops, ribs, diced and ground specialty items and tenderloins.

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