The Smithfield Packing Co. told Maryland regulators Thursday that it will lay off 76 workers at the company's Landover facility next week.

The company gave April 6 as the layoff date, according to the state of Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Smithfield produces pork, bacon, ham and other meats under brands such as Smithfield, Esskay and Cumberland Gap, according to its website.

Smithfield spokesman Jeff Gough said the layoffs were prompted by changing customer demands.

The Landover plant makes so-called "ready to cook" ham products. But Gough said customers increasingly want "ready to eat" products. To meet that demand, production is being moved to other Smithfield facilities that have such manufacturing capability, Gough said.

Hanah.cho@baltsun.com

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