Popularity of ground beef continues to grow, and packers are responding to the increase in demand.
Cargill Protein is investing $4.2 million at its Columbia, S.C. plant to expand beef grinding capabilities for consumers in the East Coast.
The investment will adds new precision grinding equipment by May 2018 to increase plant production by 15%.
Cargill purchased the Columbia facility in 2016 from FPL Food. At the time, Cargill said the 100,000-square-foot plant, employing more than 200 people, would help serve their eastern retail and food service customers.
“This investment shows our commitment to the beef industry in the Eastern U.S. and allows us to deliver on the increasing needs of beef customers in the region, through the installation of higher performance production technologies,” said John Keating, president, business operations and supply chain, Cargill Protein.
In the past two years, Cargill says it has invested more than $850 million in their U.S. and Canada plants to meet the additional demands from consumers for more protein. This includes a $111 million cooked meats plant conversion in Nebraska, $27 million egg processing facility expansion in Michigan, $50 million distribution center at its Kansas beef plant, $146 million expansion of a cooked meats facility in Tennessee, and acquisitions of meat processing facilities in Texas, South Carolina and Tennessee.