Tremonton food plant announces expansion

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 1:58 PM

Jamie Lampros, Standard-Examiner Correspondent

TREMONTON — West Liberty Foods announced plans for a $13 million expansion for its Tremonton facility.

“The current expansion is a continuation of one that started nine months ago,” said plant manager David Frett. “Continued growth in sales and diversification in product lines has driven the need for the 34,000-square-foot expansion of production space and now the continuation with 3,750 square feet of welfare space, $13 million dollars of equipment and additional mechanical space and systems to support this equipment.”

The company employs more than 570 team members from Northern Utah and Southern Idaho, with an educational day care available for associates, Frett said. The Tremonton facility was also one of the first to be verified as a landfill free facility.

“We have successfully diverted 3.5 million pounds of waste annually away from the Little Mountain landfill in Northern Utah,” he said.

According to the company’s website, the company opened for business in 1943 when Louis H. Rich founded the Rock Island Produce Company in Illinois, West Liberty and Iowa. In 1946, it was converted to a chicken slaughter facility. In 1949 the company decided to focus on turkey products and by 1960, the company changed its name to Louis Rich Foods, Inc.

In 1979, Oscar Mayer, General Foods and Phillip Morris acquired the company, and in 1996 it closed the West Liberty location. That same year, Iowa Turkey Growers Cooperative purchased the West Liberty facility, and in 1997, the first turkeys were processed.

In 2007, the company expanded by building and opening a new facility in Tremonton, and by 2012 West Liberty Foods established itself as a landfill-free company, demonstrating less than 1 percent of all waste being sent to a landfill and a savings of 7.5 million annual pounds in waste.

“Our mission is to be a leading food manufacturer by converting needs, ideas and expertise into value for our members, business partners and consumers,” Frett said. “West Liberty Foods is focused on and dedicated to food safety. We have built our state-of-the-art facilities with food safety in mind. Customer focus is our top priority.”

The facility will be operationally completed by mid-December and will be completely finished by March 2014.

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