JBS USA to invest US$20m in expansion of Iowa food processing plant

USA – The American food processing company, JBS USA has unveiled plans to invest US$20 million to expand its prepared foods business in Ottumwa, Iowa, to meet growing demand for bacon products.

The investment will see the firm establish additional bacon processing and slicing capacities, bacon equipment upgrades and new state-of-the-art slicing equipment.

According to JBS USA, which is the American subsidiary of the Brazilian fresh pork and beef producer, JBS SA, the new expansions will create 25 new job opportunities at the Ottumwa facility.

The facility upgrades are expected to be completed in September.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our continued commitment to the Ottumwa community and reinforces our strategy to grow our business through key customer partnerships,” said Tom Lopez, president of Plumrose USA.

“This significant investment will create more opportunities for local producers, strengthen our leading portfolio of high-quality, value-added pork products and support the growth aspirations of key customers.”

The Ottumwa facility was built in 1976, and produces more than 1 billion pounds of fresh pork and bacon products per year.

The business operates as Plumrose USA and was acquired by JBS from Danish Crown in 2017 for US$230 million.

Plumrose USA has five prepared foods facilities, including one in Elkhart, Indiana, two in Council Bluffs, Iowa, one in Booneville, Mississippi, and one in Swanton, Vermont, and two distribution centers in South Bend, Indiana, and Tupelo, Mississippi, respectively.

At the time of the acquisition, Plumrose which offers bacon, ham and deli meat was estimated at US$500 million in annual net revenues.

JBS appointed Thomas Lopez, a former Kraft-Heinz food executive with over 18 year’s industry experience, to lead Plumrose USA in January last year.

JBS has made a series of acquisitions including Seara, a pork and poultry prepared foods business in Brazil; Andrews Meat Industries, Primo Smallgoods, Moy Park in UK, Cargill Pork and the American branded chicken products firm, GNP Company.

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