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Cargill Value Added Meats said it will not rebuild its meat processing plant in Booneville, Ark., that was heavily damaged by an Easter Sunday fire. It will instead move the production to other locations.
"The decision to not rebuild in Booneville was agonizing, especially since local and state officials have been very supportive of Cargill staying in the area," said John O'Carroll, CVAM president. "We also know that the great people we employed at Booneville will be disappointed as well, although we hope they are well on their way to finding other employment."
O'Carroll said rebuilding a new plant would take up to 22 months, which is much longer than the company originally estimated in the days after the fire. "We need to rebuild the business now to take care of our customers," he said. "We can do that by making use of existing space at other facilities, but not if we waited up to 22 months to build a new plant."
Some of the Booneville production is already being done at other Cargill facilities. O'Carroll said that CVAM will look to installing new equipment at other plants to produce the rest of the product formerly done at Booneville.