OTAY MESA, CALIF. – On Sept. 29, Jensen Meat Co. announced the opening of its first plant-based production facility three years after it announced a plan to manage co-packing opportunities for plant-based beef alternatives. Jensen is a longtime processor of quality ground beef products for the foodservice distribution, restaurant, retail and school segments.

“We want to use our knowledge of burger production to help plant-based companies achieve the best looking, tastiest patty, and now, we are opening our first plant-based production facility,” said Abel Olivera, chief executive officer of Jensen Meat. “We set our sights on a new industry, and we knew that our expertise could increase national production of plant-based products. Ultimately, we will create more food for a growing population through cost-effective, innovative initiatives.”

Jensen celebrated the new plant-based production facility with an official ribbon cutting on Sept. 23. It will produce plant-based products at a rate of 25 million lbs a year and increasing the company’s production of affordable protein sources. The plant’s processes include blending, cooking, dry mixing, emulsifying and hydrating, in addition to bulk and patty forming for foodservice and retail finished products. Production began on Sept. 24.

“We have diversified,” Olivera said. “We feel there is room for both industries – traditional and plant-based – to thrive in a sustainable manner. Our new plant will produce sustainable protein while driving down costs for smaller companies.”