Industrias Cárnicas La Cope, a Spanish meat processor in Valencia, has reportedly shut down with more than 200 workers losing their jobs.

The Torrent-based company’s website carries a ‘permanently closed’ banner on Google, although the site can still be accessed.

In its life as Industrias Cárnicas La Cope, the business emerged from what was the Torrent Butchers and Meats Cooperative set up in 1965, according to the website, which said the company operated out of a 22,000 square-metre facility in Torrent in eastern Spain.

The local pay-to-view Las Provincias publication, citing the secretary of the Confederación Sindical de Co (CCOO) works council, said 230 staff have been dismissed. Just Food has approached the union for confirmation and comment.

Another publication, Levante el Mercantil Valenciano, put the job losses at 250, including subcontract workers. Talks on compensation arrangements were due to be held this week, it said, noting Industrias Cárnicas La Cope supplied the Consum supermarket chain and butchers shops in Torrent and further afield.

In an email sent to CCOO, Industrias Cárnicas La Cope referenced “economic and productive reasons” for the closure, according to Levante el Mercantil Valenciano.
Affected workers the publication interviewed reportedly said the slaughter and cutting of meat had declined due to “fewer” pigs.

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Pork, including bacon and sausages, are listed as the main products processed by Industrias Cárnicas La Cope on the company’s website.

The European pork sector, and further afield in Canada, has been affected by pig shortages this year.

Danish Crown, for instance, revealed in April it planned to close an abattoir in Sæby in the Nordjylland region of Denmark, with 800 employees to lose their jobs. The company cited the falling supply of pigs coming in for slaughter.

Jais Valeur, group CEO at Danish Crown, said at the time: “After several years of growth driven by strong exports to China, we knew there was a risk that the production of pigs for slaughter might fall.”

The presence of African swine fever in European countries has been one part of the problem. In March, Germany-based meat processor Tönnies said it was closing a unit within its Weißenfels, Saxony-Anhalt slaughterhouse because of a loss in export orders to Asia, including China.

Over in Canada, pork processor Olymel has been cutting jobs this year. The company disclosed in May it was shutting five sow units in Alberta and one in Saskatchewan due to a drop in exports.

Olymel had earlier announced the closure of a pork facility in Vallée-Jonction in Quebec and two others in Blainville and Laval.

More recently in August, Smithfield Foods in the US said it was set to close 35 hog farm sites in Missouri.