US-based meat giant Tyson Foods said it will permanently close a pork plant in Iowa.

The closure of the site in Perry will affect 1,276 employees who work at the facility, according to a WARN notice filed by the company with the Iowa state government.

In the filing, Tyson said the site is set to close on 28 June.

Just Food has approached the Jimmy Dean brand owner for comment.

In a statement carried by Reuters, Tyson said: “While this decision was not easy, it emphasises our focus to optimise the efficiency of our operations to best serve our customers.”

Dirk Cavanaugh, the Mayor of Perry, told the news agency the move is “a big blow to the community”.

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He added: “It’s our largest employer in the area. It’s going to be tough to figure out what to do without them.”

Tyson has announced a series of plant closures in recent quarters.

In November, the group announced plans to shut two of its case-ready meat production facilities. The sites affected were in Jacksonville, Florida, and in Columbia, South Carolina.

Three months earlier, Tyson set out plans to close four domestic chicken factories in light of slowing demand and a drop in profits. The plants affected included two in Missouri and one each in Indiana and Arkansas.

In March, Tyson said it would shut two poultry plants in Virginia and Arkansas, which, combined, employed more than 1,600 people.

In October, the US meat heavyweight said it was going to lay off employees at a cooked poultry facility in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

During the 12 months to 30 September, Tyson generated revenue of $52.88bn, down 0.9% on a year earlier.

The company made a GAAP operating loss of $395m, down 109% from the prior year. It booked an adjusted operating income of $933m, down 79% on a year earlier.

Last month, the meat packer said it was “cautiously optimistic” for 2024 after a “solid” set of fiscal first-quarter results, although at face value they looked disappointing.

Sales revenue was up a meagre 0.4% at $13.3bn in the three months to 30 December and adjusted operating profit (non-GAAP) was down 9% at $411m from the year-earlier quarter.

However, president and CEO Donnie King was keen to emphasise the “sequential” performance from the fourth quarter, particularly with respect to adjusted operating income (AOI) amid the protein giant’s factory optimisation initiatives, which have largely been characterised by plant closures.