Creekstone Farms Premium Beef LLC has purchased the former Future Beef Operations plant in Arkansas City, Kan. The company will use the high profile facility to process its fresh and cooked Black Angus beef products. Future Beef Operations was placed into Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings in August 2002 and was auctioned on January 8 in Denver.
The $100-million, 400,000 square-foot processing plant incorporates innovative technologies for harvesting, processing and cooking beef and was named Food Engineering’s Plant of the Year in 2002 (see Food Engineering, June 2002). Ownership of the state-of-the-art processing facility is a major step toward vertical integration for the Creekstone Farms Black Angus branded beef program.
The plant is expected to reopen this month. Over 900 people were originally employed and initially about 500 workers will be needed as the plant starts up.
When it was completed in August 2001, the Future Beef plant was recognized industry-wide for having the most technologically advanced beef processing systems in the world.
Creekstone Farms Premium Beef LLC is a privately held producer and marketer of Creekstone Farms Premium Black Angus Beef™, based near Louisville, KY. Though the plant was designed to process 1,650 head per day, Creekstone Farms plans to begin with a volume threshold of 1,000 head per day in order to adhere to strict quality and safety standards.