Pilgrim's Pride to close two facilities

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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PITTSBURG, TEXAS — Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. plans to shutter its chicken processing plant in Athens, Ala., and one of its processing facilities in Athens, Ga., within the next 60 to 75 days.

Production from the Athens, Ala., plant will be consolidated into two other Pilgrim’s Pride complexes, bringing those facilities to full capacity. The hatchery in Moulton, Ala., the feed mill in Falkville, Ala., and other live production operations associated with the Athens, Ala., plant will continue to operate.

Production from the company's Athens, Ga., plant on Oneta Street will be consolidated at the neighboring Barber Street facility as well as at several other company complexes in north Georgia, bringing those facilities to full capacity. The live production operations, including hatcheries and feed mills, will continue to operate.

Since production from the two plants will be consolidated into other complexes, the idling of the two facilities will not result in any decrease in the company's overall production or in any change in product mix. There will be no disruption in the supply of product to Pilgrim's Pride's customers, according to the company. The company said it would consider restarting the two plants in the future should market conditions justify it.

"As we work to restructure Pilgrim's Pride as a market-driven company, we must continue to look for ways to reduce our costs and operate more efficiently," said Don Jackson, president and chief executive officer. "A key component of that effort is improving our capacity utilization through plant consolidation and other operational changes."

Pilgrim’s Pride filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2008 and is currently in the process of restructuring.

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