Maxwell Foods, a subsidiary of Goldsboro Milling Co., has announced that it will permanently close its hog operations in 2021 after more than 31 years in the industry. In a statement, the company cited low prices paid for its product, combined with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as factors in current and projected financial losses that make it unsustainable to continue operating.
The company will take a phased approach based on growing cycles, and current grower contracts will be honored. It expects to end all operations by mid-2021, the statement continues.
The North Carolina Pork Council also released a statement, saying that it is “deeply saddened by the persistent and untenable economic conditions” that have resulted in Maxwell Foods difficult decision to cease operation.
“Maxwell Foods and its network of family farmers have been an important and vital part of Eastern North Carolina communities and their economic stability. The Maxwell family, its executive team, its employees and its farm family system have all been at the forefront of continued progress in producing safe, quality and affordable pork products that are beloved here in North Carolina – and around the world,” the statement continues.
The North Carolina Pork Council remains optimistic that the phased approach will allow employees to find other opportunities in livestock agriculture and that the approximately 150 contract farms in the Maxwell Foods system will find sustainable options.