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Mexico blocks shipments from Smithfield plant in NC

Mexico has blocked all shipments from a Smithfield Foods facility in North Carolina due to concerns about the quality of hog skins from the plant.

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Company says issue stems from a third-party company

Mexico has blocked all shipments from a Smithfield Foods facility in North Carolina due to concerns about the quality of hog skins from the plant, according to a Reuters report.

The facility in Tar Heel, North Carolina, became ineligible to export to Mexico on June 16, Reuters said.

In an emailed statement, Smithfield Chief Administrative Officer Keira Lombardo said the issue stems from a third-party company and not Smithfield.

“The temporary delistment is a result of product quality concerns with a specific lot of back skins sold from the facility to a third-party, U.S.-based company that, after a period of time passed following the sale, then exported the back skins product to Mexico,” she said. “We have conducted a thorough internal inquiry, and have determined that the issue originates with the third-party company, not with Smithfield nor the facility. We are working closely with appropriate authorities to resolve the matter.”

Smithfield Foods, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based WH Group, operates 11 feed mills in the U.S. and two feed mills in Poland through pork subsidiary Animex, according to Feed Strategy’s Top Companies database. It produced 4.8 million metric tons of feed in 2020.

WH Group operates several subsidiaries within hog production, slaughtering and processing, packaged meats, and the distribution of packaged meats and fresh pork. In 2020, it produced 5.8 million metric tons of feed.

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