Tyson Foods, the Arkansas-based chicken, beef and pork processor, has announced that it is consolidating its beef plants in the Pacific Northwest as part of a comprehensive plan to boost efficiency in its fresh meats business.

In October, the company's Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. subsidiary will close its beef slaughter plant in Boise, Idaho, and scale back processing operations at its facility in Pasco, Washington.

The changes will result in the elimination of all 270 jobs at Boise and approximately 500 positions at Pasco, reducing the company's total workforce at that unit to around 1,200.

"This consolidation is part of a much broader strategy designed to return Tyson Foods to profitability, while positioning our business for long-term success by ensuring our operations are cost-effective," said Richard Bond, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. "In addition to cost savings, we also remain focused on creating product demand, improving product mix and achieving maximum price for the high quality foods we produce."

The changes are also part of an initiative aimed at improving the performance of Tyson's beef and pork business, the company said. Tyson has already consolidated beef plants in northeast Nebraska as part of this initiative, and continues to improve production-line and staffing efficiency at other plants, and streamline its beef and pork product mix.

Affected Boise and Pasco employees will be encouraged to apply for openings at other Tyson locations, the company said. Tyson also intends to offer cash relocation incentives to workers willing to move to select Tyson plants in the Midwest.