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on December 17, 2014

Clemens Food Group building pork processing plant in Michigan

New plant expected to be operational in 2017 or early 2018

Clemens Food Group will be constructing a new pork processing facility in Coldwater Township, Michigan.

The plant is expected to be operational by late 2017 or early 2018, and when it opens will be the state’s only pork processing plant.

Clemens Food Group, headquartered in Pennsylvania, is a sixth-generation, family-owned integrated pork production operation including farming, processing, transportation and logistics.

The pork plant project is expected to generate $255.7 million in total capital investment and bring 810 new jobs to Michigan.

"Today's announcement marks a major milestone in the history of our company and the future of pork production in the state of Michigan," said Doug Clemens, CEO, Clemens Food Group. "On behalf of our more than 2,000 employees, our family shareholders and our family farm partners who have joined us in this venture, we thank Gov. Rick Snyder and leaders in Michigan and Coldwater and Coldwater Township for having the vision to see the opportunities to position the state to compete in the global pork market.

“Clemens is pleased to be partnering with nine family farms, who will raise hogs for our new fresh pork processing plant in Michigan. These families have deep roots in pork production; share our commitment to the production of safe, wholesome, high-quality pork; and more importantly, the values they hold and the integrity of their business practices align well with those of our family.”

Cooper Farms to partner with Clemens Food Group

Cooper Farms, a leading producer of hogs, turkeys and eggs, will be one of Clemens’ partners in the endeavor.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to be involved in a new pork processing plant with the Clemens family, who have been in the pork business for over 125 years,” said Gary Cooper, chief operating officer of Cooper Farms. “This provides an excellent opportunity for our company and our hog division.”

The plant in southern Michigan is strategically located in an area near the state’s borders with Ohio and Indiana, and is close to the partnering farms like Cooper Farms that are raising hogs. The plant also is accessible to what is anticipated to be an available strong workforce in Coldwater and the surrounding communities.

Choosing Michigan

The initiative to locate a pork processing plant in Michigan was farmer-led by a group of Michigan pork producers who joined with the state to conduct a feasibility study on the viability of the project. The study cited opportunities such as increased demand in the global pork market, the lack of similar resources currently available in the state, and accessibility and transportation benefits.

The State of Michigan -- including Snyder, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation -- was integral to bringing the project forward, as were business and economic leaders from the Coldwater community, the company stated.

The state has approved $12.5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for the City of Coldwater for infrastructure improvements, land acquisition, workforce development and on-the-job training for the new development.

"The new project in Coldwater Township is agricultural entrepreneurism at its best with producers, the state of Michigan and local government working together to bring 800 new jobs to our state," said Snyder. "The Clemens family is a recognized leader in pork production and its investment here signals to executives of all industries across the country that Michigan is the place to do business."

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