Smithfield Foods Inc. announced Aug. 22 that it will build a new distribution center and expand its blast cell cold storage capabilities at its processing facility in Tar Heel, N.C. Smithfield will invest $100 million and add approximately 250 new jobs to bring both projects to life.
In addition to the new positions, additional employment opportunities will also be available within Smithfield's logistics partner.
"This expansion reflects the promising new era we're experiencing at Smithfield," Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods, said. "It supports our continued growth and helps us better serve our customers by providing additional capacity and optimizing our distribution footprint."
Smithfield will begin construction of the new 500,000 sq. ft. distribution center this month. It will have 47,000 pallet positions. Meanwhile, the blast cell cold storage expansion, announced earlier this year, is underway and will increase the facility's capacity by 140 million lb. Both projects will be completed in the fall of 2018.
"At Smithfield, we're constantly evaluating strategies to achieve greater operational efficiencies and make our supply chain more sustainable," said Dennis Organ, Smithfield senior vice president, supply chain and direct store delivery. "This project will help us accomplish both goals while better serving our customers in the southeastern U.S."
Smithfield's Tar Heel facility is the largest pork processing plant in the world and produces fresh pork products for customers across the globe. Currently, the facility employs nearly 5,000 people and processes more than 30,000 hogs each day.
Smithfield is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the U.S., the company is also a leader in several packaged meats categories, with brands such as Smithfield, Eckrich, Nathan's Famous, Farmland, Armour, John Morrell and Cook's.