Hormel Foods Opens Facility in Iowa

Company's first new production facility in 25 years was built according to the LEED building system

Hormel Foods Corp,. on March 30, announced the grand opening of Progressive Processing LLC, its new production facility in Dubuque, Iowa. Progressive Processing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hormel Foods, is the first new production facility the company has built in more than 25 years.

The new facility, which spans 348,000 square feet, will cost $89 million when complete. The plant officially opened on Jan. 25, 2010, when it produced its first run of Hormel Compleats microwave meals.

Progressive Processing currently employs about 90 team members. At maximum capacity, the company could employ up to 300 people. Additional employees will be hired based on business needs and as additional production lines are added, the company said.

Progressive Processing was built according to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council for environmentally sustainable construction. The facility will use at least 25% less energy and water than a plant built to meet current building codes and industry standards and was constructed using materials with more than 36% recycled content.

Hormel Foods believes they will recoup the extra cost necessary to construct the environmentally friendly facility during the first two years of operation.

"Progressive Processing is a result of our continued growth, and it incorporates some of the latest technology available for manufacturing," said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, CEO. "Our goal is to set the food industry's gold standard for harmonizing the impact of operations with the environment, and we believe we have accomplished this with Progressive Processing."

The facility will donate more than 14,000 Hormel Compleats microwave meals from its production to the Dubuque Food Bank during the next year. "At Hormel Foods, we have a long legacy of supporting the communities in which we live and work, and that tradition continues with our new facility in Dubuque," said Mark Zelle, plant manager at Progressive Processing.

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