US agri-food giant Cargill is investing US$146m in the protein side of its business via the expansion of its facility in Nashville.

The expansion will increase Cargill’s meat crumble offerings for food ingredient, foodservice and retail customers and will also include construction of a dried sausage production facility. 

Sausage production is scheduled to begin during the first half of 2019. The project will create more than 100 jobs, doubling the facility’s current employee number.

Monte Metz, plant general manager, said: “Our customers asked for new value-added cooked meat capabilities, and we are thrilled to be able to respond by investing in this expansion at our facility. Nashville is strategically located to serve our customers in a way that helps them improve their supply chain.”

Cargill gained ownership of the Nashville facility when it acquired beef products, soups and sauces supplier Five Star Custom Foods in June 2016.

The Nashville investment is part of Cargill’s plan to grow its protein business. Over the past two years, the company has invested nearly $850m in the expansion of its US protein business, with projects in Nebraska, Michigan, Iowa and Kansas.

Brian Sikes, president the president of Cargill’s protein arm, said: “We’re pleased to support investments like the Nashville expansion that help our customers grow and the communities where we operate prosper.”