Southern Quality Meats in Pontotoc will be closed, officials announced today, with its operations merged into its sister facility in Albertville, Ala., which is operated by Albertville Quality Foods.
SQM was established in 1962.
The move affects 110 employees, and the plant will close between June-3-17, officials said.
In a statement, SQM said:
This was an extremely difficult decision because of the impact it will have on our Mississippi employees and their families and the surrounding communities,” said Jerry Wilson, CEO. “After careful consideration, we have determined that this action best supports our ongoing business strategies and enables us to provide the highest quality product to our customers.”
State, county, and local officials, as well as SQM’s employees, customers and suppliers were informed earlier today of the planned plant closing.
SQM is committed to supporting its employees affected by the decision over the next several months. To the extent possible, SQM is working with qualified employees to fill positions at the Albertville facility where vacancies exist. In addition, the company is working with state and local officials to explore the available training resources and other transition assistance that can be made available.
Albertville Quality Foods is a leading diversified protein further processing business, providing the highest “restaurant quality” protein items for foodservice, retail and national accounts since 1988. AQF features several state-of-the-art facilities optimized for complex, quick turnaround runs that meet customers’ stringent specifications at the highest quality levels.
Southern Quality Meats was criticized last year by an animal activist group for its treatment of animals at its slaughterhouse, but the USDA later gave its OK to the company to continue operations after warning the company it could lose a contract to supply schools (click here for story).