Smithfield Foods, the US meat business owned by China’s WH Group, is to close its Charlotte, North Carolina, pork processing plant.

Production will be transferred to the company’s Tar Heel facility in the same state, with the Charlotte factory set to shut its doors in December.

Smithfield Foods said the decision, which will impact 107 employees, has been taken to “increase efficiency and better utilise existing capacity”.

The Nathan’s Famous hot dog manufacturer said it will provide financial and other transition assistance to employees who are affected by the closure and will meet with staff to discuss options including transfer to other locations.

The Virginia-headquartered company employs 10,000 people in North Carolina as part of a 40,000-strong national workforce.

Doug Sutton, its chief manufacturing officer, said: “Providing transition support to our Charlotte employees is our number one priority. We appreciate their commitment to producing good food responsibly and we hope many of them will continue in roles at other Smithfield locations.”

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Smithfield Foods is not the only major meat processor in the US to announce facility closures or redundancies recently, as businesses look to cut costs in response to reduced customer demand for meat against the backdrop of a cost-of-living crisis.

Last week, Tyson Foods revealed it is to lay off workers at a cooked poultry facility in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, with local media reports putting the number of job losses at 250.

The Jimmy Dean and Hillshire Farm brands owner said in a statement: “After careful consideration, and in response to customer demand, we have reduced the number of positions on second shift at the Tyson Foods Wilkesboro complex.”

Tyson has already shut two poultry plants this year and plans four more closures in 2024.

In a call with analysts after its fiscal third-quarter financial results were reported in August, Tyson CEO Donnie King said: “We’re executing a multi-point plan focused on efficiency and modernisation, including taking a much closer look at our cost structure across the business to drive operational excellence.”