North Dakota Natural Beef LLC (NDNB) will immediately end operations and lay off all 52 workers at its Fargo, N.D., beef and bison plant, the company’s president and CEO, Dieter Pape, confirmed to Meatingplace.
The company lost its largest customer, a Chicago-based beef company that completed a plant expansion in Buffalo Lake, Minn.
Until then the company, which made up the majority of NDNB’s business, had contracted with NDNB to do its processing, Pape said.
NDNB’s majority owner is the North American Bison Cooperative (NABC), of which Pape also is the chief executive.
He said the two are separate entities and are operated as such. NABC, which runs a bison and beef kill plant in New Rockford, N.D., was not impacted by the move. In fact, he said the bison business has found additional supply and is “in slight expansion mode” and looking for additional customers.
Pape said that NDNB, meanwhile, is looking for other business options at the Fargo, N.D., plant, which lends itself to grinding and portion control as well as processing, distribution and cold storage.
Of the 52 workers who were laid off, 10 have been hired by the Bison Cooperative. An outplacement service is working to help the remainder find jobs elsewhere, and some of them already have taken positions at other firms, he said.
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