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JBS USA has signed an agreement with family-owned J&B Group to lease the latter’s value-added meat processing plant located in Pipestone, U.S. state of Minnesota, with the intent of later acquiring the facility.
In September, the J&B Group had announced that it was putting its Pipestone plant up for sale and consolidating operations by moving the production to its St. Michael headquarters. J&B Group has owned the Pipestone meat processing plant for the past 12 years, which employs approximately 145 people. The plant, which produces fresh and frozen ground beef and steaks, was due to cease operations by late November. Previously, Chuck Weum, President, J&B, told local media the decision to close was “a result of a number of factors; a change in the product portfolio, the investment of US$7.2 million in anticipation of new business that did not materialise and our desire to invest in infrastructure at the St. Michael facility”.
The pending acquisition means the Pipestone facility will now join JBS USA, hence, protecting jobs and ensuring that “it remains a significant economic contributor to the local community for years to come”, said JBS, which did not disclose the amount of the investment. “We believe the facility’s infrastructure and accomplished workforce present a great opportunity to expand our ability to provide high-quality products to both domestic and export markets. We plan on investing in the facility and growing the business, allowing our new team members and the local community to grow with us”, said Bob Krebs, COO, JBS USA Pork.
The Pipestone facility once housed the 53,000 sq ft Ellison Meat meat processor, which J&B acquired in 2007.
Source: Pipstone County Star