Missouri Prime Beef Packers suspends operations of Pleasant Hope, Mo., plant

Missouri Prime Beef Packers suspends operations of Pleasant Hope, Mo., plant

Story by Christopher Replogle

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – A southwest Missouri beef processing plant announced it has suspended operations.

Missouri Prime Beef Packers of Pleasant Hope will close because of “unforeseen business circumstances.” The plant has not confirmed if the closure is permanent or temporary. The closure impacts 335 employees.

Missouri Prime Beef Packers recently withdrew its permit application to use new technology to discharge into the Pomme de Terre watershed. Missouri Prime Beef Packers asked the DNR to approve dumping waste into the river. In August, hundreds of people gathered at the Pomme De Terre Lake pavilion in Hermitage concerned about a plan for the plant to pour up to 350,000 gallons of waste into the river daily.

Justin Furnace, a corporate spokesperson for Missouri Prime, shared this statement with KY3:

“Missouri Prime Beef Packers, LLC regrets to announce the temporary suspension of its operations, effective February 26. This unforeseen decision stems from operational challenges at the facility related to wastewater management and persistently unfavorable market conditions. We understand the disappointment felt by our employees, community members, customers, and partners, yet we remain committed to overcoming these obstacles swiftly and efficiently. Our team will continue to work closely with the Department of Natural Resources to address the wastewater challenges faced by this facility. By doing so, we aim to resume operations and once again contribute to the economic growth of the community. While we cannot provide an exact timeline for the restart of this facility, we are determined to resume operations in the future. We will keep our stakeholders informed about progress throughout this process. We sincerely appreciate the support and understanding of our customers, employees, and the Pleasant Hope community during this challenging period. We hope to overcome these temporary setbacks and emerge stronger and ready to continue providing exceptional quality beef products once again.”

The closure is among several meat processing plants across Missouri in recent months. Tyson closed chicken processing plants in October. Smithfield Foods closed about 35 hog operations in the same month.

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