US – Fair Oaks Foods, a Wisconsin-based meat processing company, has announced plans to construct a new food production facility in Davenport to expand its current meat production capabilities.

The project, which will cost approximately US$134 million, includes a 150,000-square-foot facility built in the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center.

Pending state and local project approvals, construction is anticipated to begin this summer on a 32-acre site near Utah. The company estimates the new facility would create an estimated 247 new jobs when it opens in early 2024.

Fair Oaks Foods officials said the Davenport facility will specialize in fully-cooked bacon as an extension of the company’s current capabilities.

Joseph M. Freda, COO of Fair Oaks Foods, added that the search started with over 177 sites in the Midwest and ended in Davenport since the community mirrors the company’s values and work ethic.

The company awaits voting from the Davenport City Council in order for it to receive a 60% tax rebate from the city for the project for 15 years, minus the upfront cost.

Fair Oaks Foods has also applied for a US$3.4 million sales tax refund on the construction materials from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IDEA), which is expected to consider the application on Friday.

The plans to invest in the project come at a time when Fortune Business Insights projects the U.S. meat market to grow from US$172.94 billion in 2021 to US$215.76 billion by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.21% in the forecast period.

The meat industry’s robust growth across the U.S. will be due to the rising awareness regarding the health benefits of animal protein among consumers and the continuously expanding food industry in the U.S. has supported the growth of the industry in the country.

Also, the growing popularity of protein-rich, ketogenic diets among consumers is expected to fuel market growth while the increasing demand for processed products such as ready-to-cook, ready-to-eat, and meat snacks is projected to further boost the growth of the market during the forecast period.

Recently, National Beef through its subsidiary, Iowa Premium halted the construction project for a meat processing facility with a capacity to harvest 1,300 head of cattle per day after.

It is speculated that the halting of the construction is attributed to the rising costs in the recent months faced worldwide.

The expansion was implemented in 2021 after the state of Iowa committed US$14 million to Iowa Premium to help it expand its Tama beef processing plant and add nearly 400 jobs.

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