Smithfield Foods Inc. has announced that it will close its Cudahy, Wis., and Martin City, Mo., facilities beginning later this week. Its Cudahy dry sausage and bacon plant will shutter for two weeks.
The Martin City plant, which employs more than 400 people and produces spiral and smoked hams, receives raw material from the company’s Sioux Falls, S.D., facility, which is closed indefinitely. Without these raw materials, the facility cannot continue to run.
Smithfield said it will resume operations in Sioux Falls once it receives further direction from local, state and federal officials. This will also allow the company to bring its Martin City facility back on line.
The Cudahy and Martin City facilities are located in close proximity to urban areas in which community spread of COVID-19 has been prevalent. A small number of employees at both plants have tested positive for COVID-19. Smithfield said employees will be paid for the next two weeks, during which time essential personnel will repeat the rigorous deep cleaning and sanitization that have been ongoing at the facilities.
“The closure of our Martin City plant is part of the domino effect underway in our industry. It highlights the interdependence and interconnectivity of our food supply chain,” Smithfield president and chief executive officer Kenneth Sullivan said. “Our country is blessed with abundant livestock supplies, but our processing facilities are the bottleneck of our food chain. Without plants like Sioux Falls running, other further processing facilities like Martin City cannot function. This is why our government has named food and agriculture critical infrastructure sectors and called on us to maintain operations and normal work schedules. For the security of our nation, I cannot understate how critical it is for our industry to continue to operate unabated.”