Based in Pennsylvania, US, Clemens Food Group has announced plans to invest $255.7m in a pork processing plant in Coldwater Township, Michigan. The proposed plant is being built across 550,000ft² and is expected to create employment for 810 people.

Gray Construction was preferred by Clemens to design and construct the new facility. Construction of the pork processing facility began in July 2015 and is scheduled for completion by late-2017.

Clemens’s pork processing project background

Owned by a shareholding cooperative of hog producers able to supply more than 330,000 pigs per year for processing into products.

The plant will offer direct benefits to Michigan’s pork farmers, while animal feed suppliers such as corn and soybean farmers and other local dependent businesses will benefit from the plant’s economic activity.

Clemens’s pork processing project background

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) worked with a few pork producers in the state for three years to determine the feasibility of setting up a new pork processing plant in Michigan. The MDARD also granted $100,000 to conduct a feasibility study for the plant.

Representatives from MDARD and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) submitted a request for proposal (RFP) for a new food processing facility to the Branch County Economic Growth Alliance (BCEGA) in April 2014.

Based on the assessment, the committee decided to design a strategy to find a business partner who has enough expertise in marketing and value creation.

New pork processing plant in Coldwater Township Michigan

The new pork processing facility will be located on Jonesville Road in Coldwater Township, Michigan.

Clemens Group initially shortlisted Michigan and Ohio to location the plant. Based on the feasibility study, availability of work force and the support from state and community, Coldwater Township in Michigan was finalised as the most suitable location in October 2014.

Clemens’s pork processing plant details

The new pork processing plant will function as a partnership between the Clemens Food group and a group of family owned pork producers from the same region. It is being built on a 100-acre site and will process 10,000 hogs a day when fully operational.

Financing for the new pork processing plant in Michigan

“The total estimated investment for the plant is $255.7m.”

The total estimated investment for the plant is $255.7m, with $12.5m of this approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund as part of Community Development Block Grant funds for the development of Coldwater. The investment will be used for infrastructure developments, land purchase, and workforce training and development.

The land transfer agreement between the city of Coldwater and Coldwater Township will allow the city to contribute $4.5m for the infrastructure developments of the project, which include water and sewage main extensions and a new municipal electric overhead distribution line.

Pork industry in Michigan

Pork industry in Michigan plays a key role in the overall food and agriculture economy of the state. The state generated $356m in cash receipts from its hog market and contributed $600m to the total economy in 2012. The industry provides an estimated 10,800 jobs in the state, including 8,800 people that are directly employed by the pork production businesses in Michigan.

Pork production in Michigan requires 836,000t of feed constituting approximately 6.8% of the corn and 8.8% of the soybeans grown in the state. The pork industry makes up a major part of livestock market for corn and soybeans farmers in the region.