Experiencing a recent increase in demand by retailers throughout the region for meat products coming from its Hazleton, Pa., case ready meat packaging plant, Cargill is investing $5.5 million in new equipment technology to increase the plant’s efficiency and improve its product quality and ergonomics for workers.
New equipment ranges from an automated product line dedicated to making specific products for its customers, to an integrated network to centralize monitoring of equipment performance and production. A new automated system for weighing boxes and labeling products is being installed, as well as equipment to automatically construct shipping boxes and automated steak-trimming equipment.
“Our team of 640 dedicated people takes a great deal of pride in producing excellent meat products that meet our customers’ expectations and provide consumers with wonderful protein-rich eating experiences,” said Aaron Humes, Cargill complex manager at Hazleton. “We always strive for excellence and this new equipment will enable us to improve our performance, while also providing better ergonomics for workers by having a machine produce items that were previously made by hand. This investment will allow us to remain competitive and show what we can do to benefit our customers and their meat cases.”
Established as part of Hazleton’s Humboldt Industrial Park in 2002, Cargill’s 230,000 square foot facility produces meat products packaged and ready to go directly into retailer meat cases throughout the Northeastern U.S. Employees of the facility are represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776.
“In addition to producing protein that feeds millions of Americans daily, our Hazleton facility employees support the local community and provide volunteer time to many worthy organizations,” explained Humes. “We understand how important it is to be both a viable business and a good neighbor in the community, and we work hard to fill both needs.”