Sampson County officials, Smithfield Foods Inc. and Kansas City Sausage LLC announced construction of a $44.8 million, 90,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art sausage plant. The facility will be located at the site of the former Martins Abattoir & Wholesale Meats in northwest Sampson County, which was purchased by Kansas City Sausage in April 2014.
It is anticipated that demolition of the existing production facility will begin immediately, with construction of the new facilities to be completed by June 2016. The comprehensive operation — from live animal harvest through finished product shipping — will include a hog slaughtering plant which will process between 700 and 1,000 hogs per day, as well as a pork sausage processing plant which would annually produce 50 million pounds of finished product.
“We formed Kansas City Sausage in 2013 as part of our strategy to expand into the $4 billion breakfast and dinner sausage categories. This new facility is an essential part of that strategy and also underscores our commitment to broaden our product offerings through a focus on our customers, brands, products and geographic footprint,” said Smithfield Foods’ President and Chief Executive Officer C. Larry Pope.
He continued, “We are happy to see this part of our growth strategy continuing to take shape and are also proud to announce additions to our workforce.”
The project represents a 50/50 joint venture partnership between Kansas City Sausage LLC, which has operations in Kansas City, Mo., and Des Moines, Iowa, and Smithfield Foods Inc., a global food company with existing operations in Sampson County. The partnership capitalizes on the strengths of each company in their individual business sectors as well as the region’s position as a national leader in swine production.
Kansas City Sausage has committed to create 177 new jobs — 164 of those in 2016 — at an average annual wage of $31,905. The investment in jobs, building and equipment, as well as the increased demand for local hog production, will be a strong boost to Sampson County’s agricultural economy.
“The new Kansas City Sausage operation will have a positive impact on the local economy from the moment we break ground,” said Justin Hanlon, CEO of Kansas City Sausage LLC.
“Besides our investment in construction and the new workforce, we will contribute to increased demand for local hog production.”
In consideration of Kansas City Sausage’s pledged investments and job creation commitments, the Sampson County Board of Commissioners on April 6, 2015, approved a performance-based grant back incentive package of $823,308 for the first five years of the plant’s operation. Under the same agreement, the county should retain that same amount in new property tax revenues.
The estimated $1.2 million cost for the construction of a pumping station and pipeline that will connect the plant to the NORCRESS station near Falcon, along with system upgrades to accommodate the volume generated by the plant, will be funded primarily by grant monies from the State of North Carolina. The N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority awarded Sampson County a $500,000 grant under its Economic Infrastructure Program and a $500,000 grant under its Community Development Block Grant — Economic Development program.
Chairman of the Sampson County Board of Commissioners Billy C. Lockamy said the Kansas City Sausage project was a prime example of how economic development should work.
“The initiative, drive and dedication of economic development, public works, management, legal and finance staff provided us an opportunity to marry our agricultural resources with a company who could benefit from them,” he said. Courtesy The Daily Record