The investment will focus on expanding its grinding capabilities for beef customers across the eastern US. The funds will go towards precision grinding equipment that assures consistent, high-quality ground beef products for customers.
The new equipment is expected to be installed by May 2018 and, when completed, will boost the plant’s production by 15%.
John Keating, president of business operations and supply chain at Cargill Protein, said: “Cargill purchased the Columbia facility in 2016 and today we have more than 200 Columbia employees delivering high-quality beef to our US customers. This investment shows our commitment to the beef industry in the Eastern US and allows us to deliver on the increasing needs of beef customers in the region, through the installation of higher-performance production technologies.”
Cargill continues to pump cash into its meat empire
Cargill Protein has invested approximately $850m over the past two years across the US and Canada, including: a $111m cooked meats plant conversion in Nebraska; a $27m egg processing facility expansion in Michigan; a $50m distribution centre at its Kansas beef plant; a $146m expansion of a cooked meats facility in Tennessee; and acquisitions of meat processing facilities in Texas, South Carolina and Tennessee.
In January, Cargill posted trading results for the second fiscal quarter of the year and highlighted the growing demand for beef.
On the poultry side, the previously announced UK joint venture between Cargill and Faccenda Foods finally has a name. Avara Foods will employ 6,000 people from both businesses and will “focus on delivering high quality fresh food to UK customers”.