TOPEKA, KAN. – After being named as one of the five finalist companies in the running for the annual Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award, Arkansas City, Kan.-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef LLC was named the winner for 2020 by Governor Laura Kelly on Nov. 19 during a virtual ceremony

Kelly said each of the five companies that were finalists warranted consideration for the award given their excellent reputations as exporters of their products and services across the globe. The other companies included: Kice Industries, based in Wichita; Petron Plus Global of Hutchinson; Ulysses-based Dragon-Line; and Compass Minerals, based in Overland Park.

“Creekstone Farms is an impressive Kansas company, whose beef can be found in nearly every corner of the world,” Kelly said. “All five companies have demonstrated sustained and superior exporting performance worthy of making each one a strong contender for this year’s award – but there can be only one winner. Congratulations to Creekstone Farms on this outstanding recognition.”

Following the awards ceremony, Kansas Secretary of Commerce David Toland passed along his congratulations to Creekstone officials by phone, acknowledging travel and other canceled events have been part of the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) virus.

“Creekstone Farms has been resourceful and continued to grow, including a $150 million investment in expansion projects, where the company has worked with ten other Kansas companies in construction and engineering,” Toland said. “Creekstone is a success story in Kansas international business, and they’re highly deserving of this honor.”

According to the company, it sends beef products to 68 foreign markets and it attributes 20% of its annual sales to exports. The company reported $709M in total annual sales in MEAT+POULTRY’s 2020 ranking of the industry’s top meat and poultry processors and reported approximately 970 workers on its payroll. It maintains export markets in Rome, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Monaco, London and Mexico City.

Creekstone, a subsidiary of Japan-based Marubeni Corp. , works with hundreds of vendors in Kansas each year and contributes tens of millions of dollars to the state and local economy. Creekstone invested $35 million in a new cold storage and distribution center at its plant, which started operating in late 2019. An expansion project is currently underway at the facility, representing a $115 million investment.