USA — Supreme Rice, one of the largest rice milling operations in Louisiana, is investing US$16.2 million to develop parboil facilities that will create a new line of ready-to-eat products and create as many as 100 new direct and indirect jobs.

The expansion projects, which are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2022 are happening in the cities of Mermentau and Crowley in Southwest Louisiana which boasts nearly 500,000 acres of prime rice-producing land and many of the best rice farmers in the U.S.

In Mermentau, the company plans to build a new greenfield facility for parboil operations, which will partially cook the rice for the new product line. In Crowley, it will develop a new parboil mill inside its existing facility.

“Our new parboil facility in Mermentau will allow us to market this product line to customers,” said Bobby Hanks, chief executive officer of Supreme Rice. “The new parboil rice products will create another value-added milled rice offering that further supports the stability of Louisiana-grown rice.”

To secure the project in Acadia Parish, the state of Louisiana provided Supreme Rice with a competitive incentive package that includes $750,000 from the state’s Economic Development Award Program.

The company is also expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Enterprise Zone programs as the expansion will create 20 direct jobs and up to 79 indirect jobs while retaining the existing 181 jobs in its current locations.

“It is with hopeful and great anticipation that the new endeavor with Supreme Rice in Mermentau will bring the economic boost that is much needed to our village and community,” Mermentau Mayor Darla Istre said. 

Founded in Kaplan, La., in 1936, Supreme Rice moved to Crowley the following year and has been headquartered there since. Founder Joseph Doré built and implemented one of the first drying units in the industry, allowing the company to expand its reach globally.

The company only has been in the consumer-packaged goods business since 2013, yet processes more than 1 billion pounds of rice per year.

It produces packages of white long grain, medium long grain, jasmine and brown long grain rice that are shipped to more than 50 countries.

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