SMITHFIELD, Va. — Smithfield Foods, Inc., on top of the $45 million and 30-plus jobs it invested back in May, announced Tuesday 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,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “It supports our continued growth and helps us better serve our customers by providing additional capacity and optimizing our distribution footprint.”
The announcement was good news to Chuck Heustess, Bladen County’s economic development director.
“This is really big for (Bladen County),” he said. “The total addition of jobs says 280, but I think it will be more than that.”
Smithfield will begin construction of the new distribution center this month. The new distribution center will be 500,000 square feet with 47,000 pallet positions. The blast cell cold storage expansion, announced earlier this year, is underway and will increase the facility’s capacity by 140 million pounds.
Both projects will be complete fall 2018.
“At Smithfield, we’re constantly evaluating strategies to achieve greater operational efficiencies and make our supply chain more sustainable,” said Dennis Organ, senior vice president, supply chain & direct store delivery for Smithfield Foods. “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.