The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced the expansion of two small meat processing companies will help meet growing consumer demand for locally sourced beef and pork and will strengthen Iowa’s overall food processing supply chain and rural development.
Building projects at Naeve Family Beef in Camanche and Edgewood Locker in Edgewood will spur more than $18.6 million in new capital investment for the state and 63 new jobs.
“Increasing the capacity of our small meat processing facilities will further strengthen Iowa’s agricultural economy and the global food supply chain by helping livestock producers and providing more opportunities for consumers,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed gaps in Iowa’s meat processing supply chain, when the temporary closure of large-scale facilities drove both a backlog in market-ready livestock and demand for locally processed meat,” she said.
Naeve Family Beef, a startup, will provide processing and packaging services to farmers who sell directly to restaurants, distributors and consumers, including local consumers who want high-quality beef raised locally. The company plans to begin construction on a state-of-the-art processing and packaging facility in the spring.
Edgewood Locker provides beef and pork processing to livestock producers and manufactures meats for sale to wholesale and retail customers. The company plans to build a new facility to help quadruple its volume of wholesale business, increasing production of products such as jerky and sausage.
Edgewood Locker co-owner Luke Kerns told KCRG News that the company is planning to build a new 19,000-square-foot facility.
When this plant was built in 1997 we were doing a fraction of what we are doing today,” Kerns said. “So we really need that extra space to do what we are doing now.”
Naeve Family Beef and Edgewood Locker have taken steps to gain USDA certification for food quality and safety. USDA-inspected meat processing facilities may sell across state lines and directly to consumers, stores and restaurants.
“Iowa’s small meat processors are so important to the livestock producers and consumers in their communities, and their work to provide protein for Iowans across the state is vital,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “Projects like this one help increase market opportunities for family businesses while also strengthening our local supply chain. I’m proud to see these projects advance and will always champion new ways to support these types of Iowa businesses.
The IEDA Board awarded the two companies tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs program, which promotes growth in business. The program provides qualifying businesses assistance to offset some of the costs to locate, expand or modernize an Iowa facility.
Source: IEDA, KCRG News