Smithfield To Close Subsidiary John Morrell & Co. Sioux City Plant

CINCINNATI — John Morrell & Co. announced today that it would permanently
close its hog processing and fresh meat fabrication plant located in Sioux City,
Iowa, effective April 20, 2010. The Sioux City plant processes hogs and produces
boneless loins and other fresh pork products. John Morrell is a subsidiary of
Smithfield Foods, Inc. ( SFD).

“We deeply regret having to close this facility,” said Joseph B. Sebring,
president of John Morrell. “We recognize that layoffs and plant closings are
difficult for everyone concerned. But at the same time, we believe this is a
necessary business decision. The Sioux City plant is one of the oldest, most
outdated and least efficient plants in the Smithfield system,” he continued.

The Sioux City plant closure will affect approximately 1,450 hourly and salaried
employees. The company will confer with union officials regarding this

The company will comply with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining
Notification Act (WARN), and will provide employees with a 90-day notification
of the plant closure. Under the WARN Act, the company also will notify state
dislocated worker units so that they can promptly offer dislocated worker
assistance. WARN Act notices, where appropriate, are being issued today.

“The consistent quality of our products is extremely important and is a daily
priority. We are constantly improving our facilities and equipment to ensure a
safer, higher-quality product. In this case, the Sioux City plant was
constructed in 1959 and would require significant capital expenditures to outfit
it with the next generation of pork processing technology. In this adverse
business environment those capital needs simply cannot be met,” said Mr.

“Furthermore, the Sioux City plant design, layout, and footprint severely limit
our operating and sales flexibility and our ability to produce value-added
packaged meats products and maximize production throughput. The refrigeration
system is antiquated and inefficient and the plant lacks any significant
refrigerated storage space,” he continued.

The company said that three other Smithfield plants located in Sioux Falls,
South Dakota; Denison, Iowa; and Crete, Nebraska have the capacity to
partially absorb the number of hogs that are currently being processed at Sioux
City and that it will transfer some of the Sioux City production to those plants
in the near term. This partial transfer of production capacity will not require
the company to secure additional employees. In addition, the company stated that
it will honor all production contracts at Sioux City and that Smithfield has no
further plans for plant closures in the foreseeable future.

With sales of $12 billion, Smithfield Foods is the leading processor and
marketer of fresh pork and packaged meats in the United States, as well as the
largest producer of hogs. For more information, visit


Smithfield Foods, Inc