US meat group Tyson Foods is expanding four of its plants in the country as part of a strategy to "add value" to their products.
Tyson said it has spent US$40m on facilities in Texas, Tennessee, Virginia and Florida.
"Tyson continues the strategy of adding value to our commodity products for retail customers and consumers," Gary Sheneman, senior vice president of case ready beef and pork at Tyson, said.
The company said the investment "could create as many as 490 jobs".
Last week, Tyson reported an 11% increase in profits for the first quarter of its financial year.
In November, when Tyson posted its financial results for its last fiscal year, the company said it would look to accelerate growth in value-added poultry.
CEO Donnie Smith told analysts Tyson's "destiny" was not to become a "low-cost commodity protein company".
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Tyson Foods Invests $40 Million in Plant Locations in Florida, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia
Springdale, Ark. – February 1, 2013 – Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN), today announced the company has made capital investments of more than $40 million in four of its plants that could create as many as 490 jobs. Expansion projects are under way at plants in Sherman, Texas, and Goodlettsville, Tenn.; an expansion in Glen Allen, Va., was recently completed; and The Bruss Company, a subsidiary of Tyson Foods, recently opened for business in Jacksonville, Fla.
Both the Texas and Tennessee plants produce case ready beef and pork, meaning the meats are cut, packaged and made ready for retail grocers to place directly into the meat case. The plant in Virginia makes rotisserie chickens, breast filets, tenders and thighs for national foodservice customers. The Bruss Company is a manufacturer of portion-controlled steaks and chops for the foodservice industry.
“These are major investments we believe will help us maintain our position as a leader in the case ready business at two strategic locations, and in chicken and steaks with some of our key foodservice customers,” Smith said. “All of these are prime locations because of the existing facilities and access to an excellent workforce.”
The Goodlettsville and Sherman locations will involve the installation of new equipment and production lines as part of Tyson’s strategic effort to meet customer demand for case ready beef and pork. Expansions, equipment installations and hiring for the new positions are expected to be complete by the end of April.
The Goodlettsville, Tenn., plant, where Tyson anticipates investing $7.7 million and hiring as many as 100 new people, produces pork cuts, ground beef products and beef cuts, including closely trimmed steaks, chops and roasts.
The Sherman, Texas, plant produces beef, ground beef and pork products, including closely trimmed steaks, chops, roasts and spareribs. Tyson anticipates hiring about 70 new workers and investing $5.6 million there.
Each of the case ready plants employs about 1,500 people. The Goodlettsville plant had a 2012 payroll of more than $45 million and the Sherman plant had a 2012 payroll of more than $49 million.
“Tyson continues the strategy of adding value to our commodity products for retail customers and consumers,” said Gary Sheneman, senior vice president of case ready beef and pork. “We’re pleased to be able to create jobs in both cities. They’ve been great supporters of Tyson Foods throughout the years.”
Tyson operates a third case ready plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which produces case ready beef and pork; ground pork; ground chicken; beef, pork, and chicken meal kits; vacuum-packed beef; and vacuum-packed retail steaks.
Expansions at the poultry plant in Glen Allen, Va., which were completed in late 2012, involved the installation of new equipment which will increase the ability to produce more food. Tyson spent more than $14 million and is in the process of hiring about 120 additional people. The plant currently employs about 640 and had a payroll of more than $23 million in 2012.
“The strategic location, local tax structure and available workforce made the decision to expand in Hanover County, Virginia an easy choice,” said Tommy Waters, manager of the Glen Allen complex.
The Bruss Company, which is based in Chicago, bought a 47,000-square foot processing facility in Jacksonville, Fla., last year. The company spent $13 million on equipment and renovations, and plans to eventually employ as many as 200. The annual payroll, once the facility is running at full capacity, is expected to be approximately $8 million. More than 50 people are employed there now.
Original source: Tyson Foods