Dakota City Beef Plant Improvements to Increase Efficiencies
Dakota City, Neb. - March 1, 2012 - As part of an
ongoing plan to maximize operational efficiencies, Tyson
Fresh Meats, Inc., a subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc., is
making major improvements to its Dakota City beef plant.
The changes are expected to bolster the future
of the Dakota City operation but may lead to the closure of
the company's small beef plant in Denison, Iowa.
The multi-million dollar project at Dakota City
will upgrade or replace parts of the plant that were
originally built almost 50 years ago. The
improvements will include state-of-the-art processes and
technology designed to benefit animal handling, food safety,
meat quality and workplace safety.
The Dakota City project, which is already under way, is
scheduled to be completed in mid-2013. It
includes construction of a new beef slaughter floor that will
incorporate the latest sanitation and production
The company is also making improvements to the Dakota
City plant's beef carcass cooler, rendering and box handling
operations, as well as employee lockers and cafeteria.
Changes in the plant's box handling system will
involve the installation of additional conveyors and other
equipment that will enable the facility to more efficiently
handle the product mix.
Ergonomics, the science of making the workplace fit the
worker, will be incorporated into the new beef slaughter
area. This will involve equipment and process
designs that should help make certain jobs less physically
"Dakota City is our flagship plant and this investment
means we expect it to continue to be one of our top
performers and an important market outlet for the region's
cattle producers," said Noel White, senior group vice
president of Tyson Fresh Meats. "The
improvements will help optimize the value of the plant's
product mix for domestic and international customers and make
the plant even more cost competitive."
Because of the improvement project, the Dakota City
plant will add approximately 200 production jobs and will be
able to increase the number of cattle it harvests for
processing. However, this change is not expected
to increase Tyson's overall beef slaughter capacity.
The Dakota City plant will no longer need a
supplemental supply of beef carcasses from the company's
satellite beef plant in Denison. This means the
Denison facility, which employs approximately 400 people, may
close sometime in 2013.
A majority of the cattle currently handled by the
Denison plant are purchased from independent cattle
operations that are actually located closer to Dakota
"It's difficult to consider the possibility of closing
our Denison plant, given the impact on our people, the
plant's long history in the meat industry and the tremendous
support we've received from the community over the years,"
said White. "However, unless area cattle
supplies increase significantly or we find an alternative use
for the facility, it may make economic sense to discontinue
operations there next year."
If Tyson proceeds with such a closing in 2013, the
company will give a 60 day notice, as required by law, and
will also work with affected team members to explore job
opportunities at other Tyson locations.
The Denison plant has been in operation since 1961.
It produces top quality beef carcasses that are
selected for transfer to Dakota City, where they are
converted into boxed beef and related products.
Dakota City is Tyson's largest beef processing complex.
The facility employs approximately 4,000 people, generating
an annual payroll of more than $140 million. The company
spent more than $1.7 billion in fiscal 2011 to buy cattle to
supply the plant. The facility produces fresh vacuum-packed,
beef for sale to wholesalers, retailers, hotels,
restaurants and institutions. Bone, fat, trimmings and hides
are recovered and used in the making of various foods,
pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and clothing. Tyson beef and
allied products are marketed domestically and
About Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN), founded in 1935 with
headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the
world's largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef
and pork, the second-largest food production company in the
Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. The company produces
a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products
and is the recognized market leader in the retail and
foodservice markets it serves. Tyson provides products and
services to customers throughout the United States and more
than 130 countries. The company has approximately 115,000
Team Members employed at more than 400 facilities and offices
in the United States and around the world. Through its Core
Values, Code of Conduct and Team Member Bill of Rights, Tyson
strives to operate with integrity and trust and is committed
to creating value for its shareholders, customers and Team
Members. The company also strives to be faith-friendly,
provide a safe work environment and serve as stewards of the
animals, land and environment entrusted to it.
Forward Looking Statements
This release includes forward-looking statements as
well as historical information. These
forward-looking statements may include statements relating to
timing of plant expansion, anticipated operational
efficiencies and future employment. Actual results may vary.
Factors that could cause actual results to
differ from those in the forward-looking statements include,
but are not limited to: consumer demand and perceptions; the
availability of raw materials; foreseeable or unforeseeable
construction delays; customer requests and requirements; and
the ability to compete in products and prices in a
Gary Mickelson, Tyson Foods, 479-290-6111, [email protected]