VERNON, Calif. (AP) — Meat-packing giant Smithfield Foods says 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 an industrial suburb south of Los Angeles is expected to shut in February. Its 1,800 workers will get severance pay, and some will have the option of relocating to other facilities owned by the Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc. A Smithfield executive says the costs of taxes, water and other utilities are much higher in California than elsewhere. Some operations will be moved to the Midwest.
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