Cargill announced it is investing $111 million to convert its ground beef plant located in Columbus, Nebraska into a cooked meats facility. The converted plant will give the Cargill the capabilities it currently does not have to produce specific types of cooked meat products for its customers.
The conversion will begin in early December, with cooked meat production scheduled to start in mid-2016. Ground beef production currently taking place at Columbus will be relocated to existing processing facilities at Butler, Wisconsin, and Forth Worth, Texas.
“This project, especially the investment we’re making in Columbus, is significant and exciting, and it represents our long-term commitment to current and future Cargill customers, as well as to the community,” said John Niemann, president of Cargill Turkey and Cooked Meats. “When completed, our Columbus plant will give us a variety of cooked meat processing capabilities we currently don’t have, and those new capabilities will provide our customers with more options to help them grow their businesses.”
Approximately $27 million will be carved out of the total funding package for investment in the company’s ground beef plants at Butler and Fort Worth, where additional new production lines will be installed. The new lines will increase overall capacity, improve efficiency and enhance the company’s capability to service Cargill foodservice customers.
Of the 250 positions currently at the Columbus facility, approximately 80 will be impacted when the conversion begins in December, and the company is working with those employees to provide information about opportunities to fill open positions at other Cargill facilities in the region.