Iowa Public Television


Beef Plant Too Big?

posted on October 27, 2006

Smithfield Beef Group and ContiGroup Companies Inc. announced Wednesday that they had formed a partnership to build a 650,000 square foot beef processing plant in Oklahoma. Scheduled to open in 2008, the $200 million beef processing plant will employ up to 3,000 people and process 5,000 head of cattle per day.

The plant would add about 3.6 percent to the industry's current capacity, which according to JP Morgan Chase analyst Pablo E. Zaunic, would be "…particularly bad news for those (processing plants) in the Texas, Colorado, Kansas areas because of their proximity to the planned Oklahoma plant." In an article published on the online meat industry web site, , Zaunic also questioned whether the announcement was "…another sign of SFD's continued gamesmanship to force private equity firm HM Capital to sell Swift, the third largest beef and pork processor in the U.S."

Smithfield spokesperson Lyle Orwig said the company wouldn't comment on the article but did say "That's clearly an opinion piece and they're certainly entitled to their opinion."

Tags: agriculture animals beef farmers meat news Oklahoma