Surprise: Smithfield Foods Pulls Out Of California Over Pork Law

I said this would happen. Here’s the backstory (via Green Jihad)

At the beginning of next year, California will begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2018 that requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves. National veal and egg producers are optimistic they can meet the new standards, but only 4% of hog operations now comply with the new rules. Unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa, and pork producers will face higher costs to regain a key market.

The courts did not intervene, particularly over the notion that other states must comply with the California rules to sell products

But, it won’t jump by 60%, it would go to zero in most cases, as producers would simply avoid selling pork products in California. No bacon, sausage, barbecue, pork dumplings, or anything else that would be affected. That’s simply the easiest thing to do, is it not? Some products will be sold, and the prices will certainly jump way more than 60%. Is that realistic? Because that’s what the law says. Even if they want to sell it, the law says they can’t.

And now

Smithfield Foods to shutter California meat-packing plant

unintended consequencesMeat-packing giant Smithfield Foods said Friday it will close its only California plant next year, citing the escalating cost of doing business in the state.

The Farmer John meat-packing plant in Vernon, an industrial suburb south of Los Angeles, will shut down in February, with its 1,800 employees receiving severance and job placement support along with bonuses for those who choose to stay on the job until the closure, said Jim Monroe, vice president of corporate affairs.

Some workers, who on average earn about $21 per hour, also will have opportunities to relocate to other facilities owned by the Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc.

The Vernon plant slaughters pigs and packages products such as ham and bacon. Some operations will be moved to other facilities in the Midwest, but the overall reduction in processing capacity is prompting Smithfield to reduce its sow herd in Utah. The company also said it is exploring ways to exit its farms in California and Arizona.

Reducing/moving operations in those other states is a direct reflection on the California law, because they just won’t need that much product for California now.

Monroe said operating costs in California are much higher than in other areas of the country, including taxes and the price of water, electricity and natural gas.

“Our utility costs in California are 3 1/2 times higher per head than our other locations where they do the same type of work,” he said.

The ABC piece mostly ignores Proposition 12, but, that is the primary driver of what Smithfield Foods is doing, jacking up the price of operations and goods. But, hey, this is what you wanted, Californians. Suck it up, no complaining. And you know they won’t be the first.

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11 Responses to “Surprise: Smithfield Foods Pulls Out Of California Over Pork Law”

  1. Hairy says:

    Pork is prohibited on the Bible

    • Professor Hale says:

      Try using plates instead.

    • Once again, the Hirsute One tells us things that just aren’t so!

      Jewish law prohibits the consumption of pork; that’s true enough. However, in the Council of Jerusalem, reported in Acts Chapter 15:

      1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

      2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

      3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.

      4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.

      5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

      6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

      7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

      8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;

      9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

      10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

      11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

      12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.

      13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

      14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

      15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,

      16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

      17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

      18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

      19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

      20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

      Simply put, the prohibition of consumption of pork was not placed on the Gentile converts to Christianity.

      When it comes to Acts 15:20, I prefer the more explicit translation in the New American Standard Bible, commissioned by the Church by His Holiness Pope Pius XII in 1944, taken from the original languages, and completed in 1970, under His Holiness Pope St Paul VI:

      20 – We should merely write to them to abstain from anything contaminated by idols, from illicit sexual union, from the meat of strangled animals, and from eating blood.

      The New American Standard Bible is the one I use at home. A blue hard covered book, the binding is broken because it doesn’t just sit on the shelf, but is actually read and used. There are dog-eared pages to keep my place, and there’s a stain of something yellowish-brownish on the front cover; the binding has more stains. I bought this copy in 1978.

      • Professor Hale says:

        I see no pork stains on that Bible. You must be doing it right.

        • I think that the stain on the front cover might be mustard.

          The part I read most recently is the Book of Job. Even in modern English, it’s a difficult book, because even a perfect translation of ancient Hebrew still retains the style of the time in which it was written. Job, written somewhere between the 7th and 5th centuries BC, is a particularly didactic book, with lessons repeated several times, yet repeated with subtle differences as well. A modern English editor would cut out about two thirds of the book, but doing so would obscure the subtle differences.

    • James Lewis says:

      Actually Hairy the Old Testament was fulfilled with the birth, life, death and resurrections of Jesus.

      Eating pork is not prohibited in the New Testament.

      • Bear Claw Chris Lapp says:


        I believe smithfield is one of many owned by the chynee. You go califrutopia, I’m still enjoying leftovers from my smoked pork tenderloin.

    • L.G.Brandon!, L.G.Brandon! says:

      Whoever was in charge of your commie brainwashing did a very poor job. Pork is not prohibited in the Bible. It would behoove you to actually know something about a religion before you comment on it. That would be impossible for a commie though since they worship FJB not God.

      FJB and his commie followers.

  2. Rupert Smedley Hepplewhite says:

    China owns Smithfield.

  3. STW says:

    The question then becomes, what will happen to the Farmer John’s mural?

    When I worked in Vernon there were seven packing houses. Getting down wind from a few train cars of “Eastern raised, Western dressed corn fed pork” outside of Farmer Johns was always a treat. I wonder how many packing houses will be there after this all shakes out.

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