Food processing firm JBS USA held a ribbon cutting event on this week to mark the beginning of work on a $20 million expansion project at the company’s Ottumwa, IA bacon plant, local news organizations reported.
The Brazilian-owned firm is investing in six new production lines and a new smokehouse at the site to keep up with increasing demand for the pork product, according to coverage by the Ottumwa Courier. 25 new jobs in Ottumwa will be created as a result of the project.
“We had increase[d] demand for bacon. [The] country just loves bacon. It’s a category that continues to grow,” the president of JBS’ Plumrose division, Tom Lopez, told television news station KTVO. “So, the $20 million expansion really is about building state-of-the-art capabilities and slicing bacon processing, and automation that really allows us to provide a quality product for our consumers and customers.”
Plans for the expansion were first announced by JBS in February this year and was initially slated to reach completion in September. The Ottumwa facility currently manufactures about 1 billion lbs/yr of fresh pork and bacon products. The investment includes new bacon processing and slicing capabilities, new bacon production equipment and slicing equipment.