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WICHITA -- Citing challenging livestock markets, escalating commodity costs, and disruptions in key export markets, Cargill Meat Solutions will lay off 48 of its 35,000 employees at corporate offices here and at production facilities across the country.
“We had tried to hold out, hoping that market conditions would improve, but they have continued to be negative,” said Bill Rupp, president of Cargill Meat Solutions. “We did not want to do this,” added Rupp, noting that the laid-off employees will be offered resources to help with their transition, including severance packages and out-placement services.
“Making decisions that affect people’s livelihood is extremely difficult, especially when looking at the dedication of those involved,” Rupp said.
Despite being faced with challenging market conditions, Rupp said the company will continue to move forward in its quest to be the leader in helping create value for its customers. “After the start of the new year, we will be introducing a number of new products and innovations focused on our customers,” Rupp said. “Our goal of being the partner of choice does not change.”
In January 2004, Cargill Meat Solutions laid off about 100 workers at five beef plants following the first case of mad cow disease in the United States. The case closed export markets for a number of months.