US meat processor Tyson Foods has said it will close its Jordan's Meats plant in Portland, Maine, early next year and shift production to other locations.

"We have evaluated every possible economic scenario for this facility and because of its age, layout, proximity to raw materials and downtown location, it simply does not make sense for us to reinvest in it," said John Lea, Tyson's vice president of consumer products.

The plant, as well as its distribution centre in south Portland, are scheduled to close 1 February 2005, leading to the loss of 285 jobs. The closing is not expected to have any material impact on Tyson's earnings.

The plant makes sliced meats and cooked roast beef primarily under the "Jordan's" and "Kirschner" brand names, and also produces "private label" products for retail and foodservice customers across the country. After the closure, these products will be produced by Tyson plants in New York, Iowa, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.