A pork processing plant in Des Moines is shutting down. The "Iowa Quality Meats" plant is owned by Smithfield Foods and the company shut down some operations Tuesday. Within 60 days, the plant’s 95 employees will be out of a job. John Lawrence, a livestock market analyst with the Iowa State University extension service, says the closure shouldn’t have much of an effect on the state’s hog industry.
"I wouldn’t expect it to have an impact on hog prices to Iowa farmers," Lawrence says. "Really, the biggest impact is going to be on the employees." The plant processed pork into individual cuts and pork roasts.
"The plant did not slaughter animals. They bought meat or transferred meat in from other companies where the hogs were killed so it really doesn’t affect the hog processing capacity," Lawrence says. Company executives say the plant has been running "substantially below capacity" and losing money for "several years."