Pilgrim’s Pride will be closing its Batesville poultry processing plant in the next 60 days, according to local economic development officials. However, a new buyer may surface.
Larry Jones, Director of Independence County Economic Development, Inc. (ICED), says employees have been informed of the plant’s closure.
As many as 400 workers could be affected.
Jones issued a statement on Wednesday (Aug. 21) saying:
It is our understanding that Pilgrim’s Pride has officially announced to the Batesville Complex employees that it will stop production in 60 days.
In anticipation of this closing by Pilgrim’s Pride several weeks ago, the Independence County Economic Development Inc., County Judge and Quorum Court approved a local economic development incentive package to encourage another food processing company to rehire employees and resume operations at the facility.
Information was obtained that Ozark Mountain Poultry located in Rogers, Arkansas is interested in purchasing the facility, and we, along with Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), are helping in that process.
We will be working with the prospective buyer, AEDC, plant labor unions, and other community stakeholders to retain the maximum number of jobs and restart the plant as soon as possible. Funding for Independence County economic development incentives is from a countywide one-quarter cent sales tax that was passed by the voters in December 2008.
Independence County Economic Development Inc. promotes the creation of industrial jobs through business economic development recruitment and retention programs here in Independence County.