Pilgrim’s will close its poultry processing facility in Luverne, Minnesota, effective December 29. The plant employs approximately 200 people.

The decision to close the facility will allow Pilgrim’s to shift production and equipment to more efficient operations to enhance synergies and better serve the company’s key customers, the company stated in a press release.

“The Pilgrim’s team explored several options before arriving at the difficult decision to close the Luverne facility,” said Jayson Penn, head of Pilgrim’s USA. “We recognize the impact this has on our Luverne team, their families and the local community, and we will make every effort to assist in future job placement, including relocation opportunities at other company locations for all impacted employees.”

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The facility was acquired from the city in 1998. It was a former IBP beef production facility and was converted to produce frozen and convenience chicken products.

Since production capabilities at Luverne will be transferred to other nearby Pilgrim’s facilities, the closure of the Luverne poultry plant is not expected to have any impact on the company’s overall production capacity.

Pilgrim’s, which earlier in 2017 finalized the acquisitions of GNP Company and Moy Park, employs about 55,000 people and operates chicken processing plants and prepared foods facilities in 14 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the U.K., Ireland and continental Europe.