Pork processor breaks ground in Michigan

New 550,000-square-foot facility will process 10,000 hogs daily.

Clemens Food Group recently celebrated the groundbreaking on its new fresh pork processing facility in Coldwater, Mich. Once operational, Clemens' new 550,000-square-foot facility will process 10,000 hogs daily and create an estimated 800 new jobs.

The Coldwater plant's output will consist primarily of fresh pork products.

"We're in a sold-out position on a lot of our value-added products, so we needed more raw product to expand our business," Ernie Meily, vice president of human resources for the Clemens Food Group said. "We found our producer partners here in Michigan were really open to our processes, and we felt that would really help us grow and expand the Clemens Food Group footprint."

Most of the plant's intake will consist of hogs finished and delivered by those established partners, but Meily promised the remaining capacity means opportunity for farms not yet connected to the company.

"The 12 producer partners make up about 80% of the supply," he said. "When we looked at this project we knew we needed three specific things. We needed the raw product—the hogs; we need a place to sell; and we needed the employee base to be able to create this plant.”

Additionally, Meily said there will be opportunity for local producers to sell to this plant and become part of that producer network.

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