Officials for Tyson Foods Inc. this week proposed building a new processing facility near the company's existing poultry plant in Green Forest, Ark. A group of Tyson Foods employees presented the new plant concept, valued at approximately $136 million, to the finance committee of the Carroll County Quorum Court on Wednesday. The project would create about 85 jobs once it is fully operational.
The project is contingent, in part, on the approval of certain tax abatements from the Carroll County Quorum Court and sales and use tax credits from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC).
“This project would allow us to better serve our foodservice customers through improved product mix and greater efficiencies,” said Noel White, president of poultry for Tyson Foods. “This is the first new plant construction project Tyson Foods has proposed to build in a number of years, and we’re hopeful we can partner with Carroll County and the AEDC to invest in our home state.”
The Green Forest plant currently produces a variety of partially cooked chicken products for foodservice and retail customers, including nuggets and portioned fillets. The new project will increase the facility’s partially cooked capacity, increasing efficiency by reducing transportation of products to other locations for further processing. Development of the new plant would not change the number of chickens grown for operations in Carroll County, Ark., the company noted.
The project entails new construction of more than 200,000 sq. ft. across the street from the existing plant. Plans call for the facilities to be connected by a corridor. Improvements would include new equipment and production lines, as well as processes and technology designed to benefit food safety, quality and workplace safety. Construction could begin as early as this summer, and the project would be completed in late 2017.
Originally built by Franz Foods in 1959, Tyson Foods purchased the Green Forest plant in 1967. The facility currently employs more than 1,250 people, generating an annual payroll of more than $37 million.