Smithfield Foods challenges export market with investment

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

Smithfield Foods invests $45m in facility
US processor Smithfield Foods is to invest $45m in its South Dakota facility.

The Sioux Falls investment includes renovating a high-speed bacon line, a ground seasoned pork operation, and the distribution centre, as well as the rebuilding of a facility that houses more than 8,000 hogs. This investment and expansion will help Smithfield meet the increasing domestic demand for bacon and international demand for ground, seasoned pork, a growing category in export markets. The expanded plant will create 70 new jobs in the area.

“Export markets are key for the continued growth of all U.S. hog producers and pork processors,”​ said Jason Richter, president of the international group for Smithfield Foods. “This new project further positions the company to meet the demands of consumers in these key markets, benefitting our national and local economies, including creating new jobs in Sioux Falls.”

The 70 new employees will join the 3,600 others at Smithfield’s Sioux Falls facility, which produces fresh pork, ready-to-cook bacon, deli meats, hot dogs, and smoked hams.

With US demand for bacon on the rise, Smithfield is increasing its bacon capacity by upgrading equipment to include high-speed lines. The renovations, on track to be completed by May 2019, will improve the volume, yield, and quality of the bacon produced by the facility.

Changes to Smithfield’s ground seasoned pork operation will bolster its ability to support increased demand by export markets and include a renovation to the existing distribution center, which is currently underway and on schedule to be completed by March 2019. Once complete, it will be the most modern operation in the industry, incorporating the latest technology for automated packaging, boxing, labeling, and stacking.

Smithfield is also renovating its hog barn, which will be complete in early Fall 2019. The new barn’s features and design will reflect leading animal handling practices, including automatic climate control systems.

“At Smithfield, we’re committed to our continual investment in our facilities and farms in Sioux Falls,”​ said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “In the past five years, we have invested more than $73 million into our operations in South Dakota, which positively impacts the local economy. With these new projects, we’re proud to further strengthen our presence in this state.”

Related topics: Industry & Markets, United States

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