SPRINGDALE, ARK. – A former prepared foods processing facility in Columbia, SC, that was shuttered by Tyson Foods Inc. in 2020, is being renovated to operate as a case-ready beef and pork plant, the company announced on March 17.  The plant previously manufactured pizza toppings and taco fillings and employed about 150 workers. 

The company said the initial $42 million investment to convert the operation is part of its growth strategy to increase consumer-ready products. An additional $13 million will be earmarked to make additional investments at the location over the next five years. The facility’s operations will focus on meat cutting to supply portioned packages of sliced beef and pork in addition to ground beef for retail customers, including grocery stores and warehouse club stores located in the eastern part of the United States. Tyson expects to start-up operations at the plant by May 2021 with approximately 330 employees.

“We’re pleased to bring operations back to Columbia and are very grateful for the strong state and local support we’ve received for this project,” said Nate Hodne, senior vice president and general manager of Tyson Fresh Meat’s portioned protein innovations business. “Once operational, this new facility will help us meet growing demand from our retail customers with high quality, pre-cut, pre-packaged fresh beef and pork.”

Tyson currently operates case-ready beef and pork plants in Iowa, Tennessee and Texas. In 2019, Tyson officials broke ground on a new, $300 million case-ready plant in Eagle Mountain City, Utah, which is scheduled to open later this year.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the investment being made by Tyson and the additional jobs it will create is a welcome shot in the arm to the state’s economy. 

“We look forward to continuing our state’s fruitful partnership with Tyson and to their continued commitment to South Carolina and our people,” he said.