US: ConAgra to expand potato plant

By Dean Best | 13 November 2012

  • ConAgra to build US$200m production line
  • To cater for demand at home and abroad
ConAgra is targeting growth from Lamb Weston unit

ConAgra is targeting growth from Lamb Weston unit

ConAgra Foods is to expand a potato products plant in the US to meet growing demand at home and abroad.

The company will add a production line to its Lamb Weston facility in Boardman in Oregon. The US$200m project is expected to be completed by 2014 and will create 100 jobs, ConAgra said.

"This significant capacity increase is needed to fulfill Lamb Weston's customer growth projections, particularly the dynamic growth expected from international markets," ConAgra said.

In September, ConAgra reported "strong international growth" from Lamb Weston's commercial foods business in the first quarter of its new financial year.

CEO Gary Rodkin said: "We're going to continue to grow as our customers continue with their aggressive plans to expand in emerging markets."

The company also said it wanted to continue to play "a leadership role" in the frozen potato category in the retail sector in the US.

Show the press release


ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston to Expand Operations in Boardman, Ore.

$200 Million Expansion Will Add Capacity and Jobs

OMAHA, Neb.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE:CAG) announced today an estimated $200 million expansion of its Lamb Weston frozen potato facility in Boardman, Ore. This strategic investment will add a new line to the plant – increasing capacity for making french fries and other frozen potato products – and is expected to create approximately 100 jobs for the region.

“We’re thrilled Lamb Weston has reaffirmed its commitment to Boardman and the entire Columbia River Basin”

As consumer demand for frozen potato products continues to grow both domestically and internationally, this significant capacity increase is needed to fulfill Lamb Weston’s customer growth projections, particularly the dynamic growth expected from international markets.

“Our need to expand is a testament to our strong customer partnerships, our great-tasting french fries, and the outstanding work our employees do every day to create food people love,” said Rick Martin, vice president, Global Operations, ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston. “This expansion also reflects our confidence in the region’s growers to deliver high-quality potatoes while working with state and local government to ensure long-term, sustainable growing practices. We specifically appreciate the efforts and support of the Columbia River Enterprise Zone, Port of Morrow, city of Boardman, Morrow County and the state of Oregon and are proud to be an active part of this thriving community.”

“We’re thrilled Lamb Weston has reaffirmed its commitment to Boardman and the entire Columbia River Basin,” said Gary Neal, general manager, Port of Morrow. “As Lamb Weston realized, Boardman is an ideal place to expand as its business and employees continue to thrive here.”

Construction of the 192,000 square foot, state-of-the-art addition is expected to begin in early 2013 with completion in 2014. The expansion does not alter ConAgra Foods’ existing fiscal 2013 capital expenditure guidance.

“We are excited about Lamb Weston’s commitment to expand its operations in the Columbia Basin,” said Tim McCabe, director, Business Oregon. “We look forward to working in the near future with the Port of Morrow, city of Boardman and Morrow County as a partner to assist Lamb Weston’s growth and ensure they remain a major employer in the area for years to come.”

ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston is one of the largest employers in the Columbia River Basin – an area known for growing high-quality potatoes and other vegetables. The company operates seven facilities in the region employing nearly 4,500 people, including 500 employees in Boardman and 500 in Hermiston, Ore.

With easy access to the Port of Morrow, the Boardman facility is strategically situated to support both domestic and international growth plans of Lamb Weston customers. Proximity to prime growing and shipping operations also helps reduce transportation needs, supporting Lamb Weston’s efforts to shrink its carbon footprint. The existing Boardman facility is EPA ENERGY STAR® Certified as a result of employee efforts to reduce energy, reuse water and increase recycling.


Original source: ConAgra Foods

Sectors: Fresh produce, Frozen

Companies: ConAgra Foods

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