ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – National Beef Leathers, a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Beef Packing Company, LLC, has completed a 4 ½ year renovation and retrofit of its 154,000-sq.-ft. wet-blue tanning facility. In 2013, the investment was estimated at $50 million.
The new renovation makes the technologically advanced company the largest wet-blue facility in the world, according to the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce. The wet-blue tanning process uses chromium which leaves the tanned leather a pale blue color.
National Beef Leathers supplies leather to the athletic shoe industry, as well as the automotive upholstery and household furniture industries. With the capacity to produce in excess of 60,000 hides per week, system-wide automation and state-of-the-art equipment additions, National Beef Leathers has substantially improved its efficiency and product consistency.
In addition to major renovations, the company has just finished a hair removal system that supports environmental and quality standards for the wet-blue leather process that will continue to advance global quality requirements.
Parent company, National Beef, is the fourth-largest supplier of cattle hides in the nation. Cattle hides are transported from National Beef’s facilities in Southwest Kansas to St. Joseph to go through the wet-blue process.