Global food processing and agriculture company Cargill says it decided to keep its protein operations in Wichita, Kansas and will relocate its current headquarters to a new location within the city limits. The decision is dependent upon pending approval by the City of Wichita for an agreement between the two entities. The company’s move to a new office building is expected to take place by the end of 2018.
“Looking at our current office space situation in Wichita, we determined a change is required to meet our future needs as a customer-focused, talent-seeking, growth-oriented protein business, operating in a highly competitive business sector,” says Brian Sikes, Cargill corporate vice president for the company’s protein group. “So we embarked on a mission to identify the optimal location where the people responsible for success of our business will have the best opportunity to thrive.”
Beginning in late 2015, Cargill began to explore moving its protein headquarters to other states including Texas and Colorado after the company says moving people to different buildings within Wichita was creating workflow issues, according to the Associated Press. The company has approximately 900 employees in Wichita. A majority of these employees work in a 10-story building though some work out of an nearby office space the company leases, the national publication reports.
But ultimately Sikes says the company decided staying in Wichita was the right move.
“City and state officials, especially Governor Sam Brownback, made it crystal clear to us that they were committed to keeping Cargill in Wichita,” stated Sikes. “I know from speaking with our employees here, they are relieved to know of this decision and they are eagerly looking forward to working in a new building that fosters collaboration, efficiency, innovation and excitement.”
“We are pleased Cargill employees will remain an important part of the Wichita community and will continue to contribute to the vitality of many organizations throughout the region,” Sikes adds. “We also believe it is beneficial for our protein business to be headquartered in the center of the US.”
Cargill recently acquired a beef plant in Columbia, South Carolina; opened a nearly $50 million distribution center at its Dodge City, Kansas, beef processing plant; is investing $111 million in a plant conversion for cooked meat products at Columbus, Nebraska.; and dedicated a $27 million egg processing expansion in Lake Odessa, Michigan.