SMITHFIELD, Va. and KANSAS CITY, Mo. – On May 27, Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Kansas City Sausage, LLC announced the next stage of the joint venture the two companies formed in 2013, with plans of building a 90,000 sq. ft. pork-processing plant in NC.

Representing an investment of $44.8 million, the plant in northeast Sampson County will include processes starting with slaughtering up to 1,000 sows per day through finished product shipping. The plant will be built at the site of the former Martins Abattoir and Wholesale Meats, which Kansas City Sausage acquired in 2014. Demolition of that facility is to begin immediately. Producing approximately 50 million lbs. of pork sausage annually, the operation is expected to create 177 jobs after the completion of the construction, which is scheduled for June 2016.

Growing the packaged meats segment has long been a focus of Smithfield, led by its president and CEO, Larry Pope. “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,” Pope said in a statement.

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 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.

“Besides our investment in construction and the new workforce, we will contribute to increased demand for local hog production.”