Smithfield, the largest pork producer in the US, officially opened a new US$100m processing plant in North Carolina yesterday (2 November), bringing 300 new jobs to the region.

"This new plant represents a glimpse of the future - the future of our company, the future of the food business and the future of North Carolina," said Joe Luter IV, president and chief operating officer of Smithfield. "Smithfield has always had a strong presence in North Carolina and we are excited to be opening this modern new facility in Kinston."

The construction of new facility is part of the company's broader move towards value-added products. The factory will process boneless cooked ham, employing state-of-the-art technology designed to improve food safety, enhance quality and reduce water consumption. It will initially produce 90m pounds of pork products annually, including deli ham and slices lunch meat.