Golden State Foods broke ground today on a new 165,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art Protein facility in Opelika, Alabama. Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller, Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield along with GSF Chairman and CEO, Mark Wetterau addressed more than 75 attendees at the site, located in the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park.
“Today is another great day in the City of Opelika as we welcome our new partner, Golden State Foods,” said Mayor Fuller. “We know they will provide great opportunities for our citizens and be a true community partner.” The Mayor commended GSF on its high standards and Creed and Values, reciting the Creed in its entirety during his comments.
Secretary Canfield extended greetings and congratulations from Governor Bentley and said, “Alabama’s economic development team works hard every day to bring great companies like Golden State Foods to our state, and we’ll continue to support this significant project in Opelika to build on the partnership we’ve developed with the company.” He also vowed to “eat more Quarter Pounders and Big Macs!”
“We are thrilled to become a part of the Opelika community, a wonderful city that shares our common values,” said Mark, as he shared a bit of GSF’s history with the group. “We started as a small meat company in Los Angeles nearly seven decades ago, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 70th anniversary next year than with the opening of this meat plant in Opelika! We appreciate the solid partnership of the local civic leadership, and we look forward to providing jobs and community engagement, which is a long-term investment for us.”
According to Neil Cracknell, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, the new facility “will enable us to meet our growing processing needs throughout the U.S. and to better serve our customers.”
He explained that since the current plant in Conyers is a shared facility with GSF’s Liquid Products business, this new plant “will provide us with more space dedicated to our Protein Products production and will leave our Liquid Products business more space within our current facility.”
Centrally located to GSF’s meat customers in the Southeast and Midwest, this facility will also provide the company with opportunities to explore innovative technology as well as sustainable features for the plant.
“I’d like to especially thank Wayne Morgan and his leadership team for their outstanding efforts to bring us to this point so far,” added Neil. “They’ve done a remarkable job identifying the ideal location and designing this state-of-the-art facility.”
Additional attendees at the event included Bill Sanderson, Senior Corporate Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, John Page, Senior Corporate Vice President and Chief Legal and CSR Officer, Shellie Frey, Group Vice President, Corporate Communications, and members of the Protein Products team: Larry Arnold, Bill Hartline, Craig Baxter, Kim Parson, Bobby Burdette and Mike Tedford. Representatives from GSF’s construction partners, Clayco, were also in attendance.
The plant is scheduled for completion in mid-2017, and projected to start production sometime in the third quarter of that year.