Cargill to close its Milwaukee beef plant [Aug. 1 2014]

Jul 31, 2014

By Amanda Brodhagen,

Cargill recently announced that it would close its beef facility located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, effective August. 1, 2014.

According to Cargill, tight cattle supply prompted the closure. The supply and demand issue is believed to be caused by cattle ranchers retaining their cows and heifers for herd expansion. In the U.S., beef cattle herds are also at their lowest level since 1951, with a significant nationwide herd expansion being years away.

“Closing our Milwaukee beef plant is taking place only after we conducted an 18-month-long analysis of the region’s cattle supply and examined all other possible options,” John Keating, president of Cargill Beef said in a release.

The plant employs approximately 600 people.

On the site, the ground beef plant will remain open to meet customer needs, and has a workforce of approximately 200 people. Cargill says that its six other U.S.  beef processing plants are unaffected by the Milwaukee closure. The remaining plants are located in California, Texas, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Pennsylvania.

Cargill had purchased the beef plant in 2001, which had the processing capacity of 1,300 to 1,400 cattle a day. The company says that for the 600 people affected by the plant closure, it will be offering opportunities to fill positions at other company locations. Individuals who relocate to fill positions at other Cargill locations will receive financial assistance and Cargill employees who are deemed displaced will be provided professional support.

In a release, the company said it will continue to honour its community commitments in the region through until the end of 2014.

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