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Tyson Adjusts Growing Case-Ready Meats Business

02 February 2010

US - The continued growth of case-ready beef and pork sales in the Southern US has prompted Tyson Foods, Inc. to make some adjustments in operations, company officials have reported.

The changes are expected to enable the company to make more effective use of its existing case-ready production capacity.

Tyson plans to shift some production from its Council Bluffs, Iowa, case-ready plant to its facilities in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, and Sherman, Texas. The two plants are closer to the company’s growing customer base.

“Our overall case-ready business is operating successfully and we must continue to control costs and improve efficiencies,” said Gary Sheneman, senior vice president of case-ready beef and pork for Tyson. “We believe shifting some production from Council Bluffs to our other plants is the right thing to do for our overall business, which continues to grow and diversify its customer base. The unfortunate downside is the impact on some of our employees.”

A portion of second shift case-ready production at the Council Bluffs plant will be suspended in mid-March and subsequently handled by the company’s two other case-ready facilities, which have available capacity. The suspension will displace approximately 480 of the 1,300 people employed at the Council Bluffs plant. The workers will be encouraged to apply for openings within the company and also will be invited to a job fair Tyson officials plan to host. In addition, Tyson intends to work with state officials to ensure the employees are informed about unemployment benefits and any potential re-training opportunities.

“We believe the Council Bluffs plant will remain an important part of our case-ready beef and pork business and continue to benefit the local economy,” Mr Sheneman said. “In fact, if enough additional case-ready business develops in the Midwest, we’ll consider reinstating the production we’re suspending at Council Bluffs.”

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