CHICAGO, April 13 (Reuters) - Bankrupt U.S. chicken producer Pilgrim’s Pride Corp PGPDQ.PK said on Monday it will close its Dalton, Georgia, chicken processing plant, a move that affects 280 employees, as it looks for ways to trim costs and become more efficient.
The Pittsburg, Texas-based company is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and has been closing plants and consolidating operations. In February, the company said it expected to exit bankruptcy by late this year.
Pilgrim’s plans to close the Dalton facility within 60 days and move production to another facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. About 120 contract growers who supply birds to the Dalton plant will supply the company’s Chattanooga plant or other facilities within about 90 days.
There will not be any disruption in supplying chicken to retail, food service and industrial customers as a result of the Dalton closing.
Pilgrim’s Pride, once the largest U.S. chicken producer, was forced to seek bankruptcy protection in December after sustaining losses due to high feed costs, low meat prices, and large debt.
In March, the company sold its Farmerville, Louisiana, processing facility for $80 million to Foster Farms, a privately held California-based chicken producer. (Editing by Dave Zimmerman)