Meat+Poultry - June 2020 - 23

Perdue Premium Meat Co. increases
capabilities with $29 million expansion
BY B O B S I M S | b s i m s @ s o s l a n d.c o m

Photos: ┬ęBob Sims / Sosland Publishing Company

S

alisbury, Md.-based Perdue Farms
acquired Sioux Preme Packing Co. in
2015. Originally, Sioux Preme operated its
harvest facility in Sioux Center, Iowa, and its
fabrication down the road in Sioux City. The
two facilities did and still operate as a single
business under the name Perdue Premium
Meat Co. (PPMC). However, the Sioux Center
harvest plant finished an expansion of roughly
55,000 square feet at a cost of approximately
$29 million.
"Prior to the expansion, we had a facility of
125,000 square feet, that included all buildings,
wastewater and the maintenance shop. Now
we have over 180,000 square feet and plenty
of room to grow," said Rick Getman, director
of operations, a position responsible for
both facilities.
The Sioux Center addition added about
50 employees to bring the total for both
facilities to about 430, including sales, nonharvest and fabrication positions. With the
new square footage, the Sioux Center location
carries about 60% of the employees while the
remainder work in Sioux City.
"We didn't increase production. We
increased capabilities," said Gary Malenke,
senior vice president of pork operations,
regarding the capacity of the facility to continue
to harvest the same number of hogs - 4,500
head per day (475 an hour). "We're going to
further manufacture, package and customize
our products beyond what we've been able
to do in the past with our state of the art
equipment and innovative new case-ready
offerings," Malenke added.
Production includes pork for the Niman
Ranch and Coleman Natural Foods brands,
as well as production under the Sioux Preme
name for its commodity-based business.
The Niman Ranch and Coleman Natural
Foods brands possess certain, popular
attributes that today's consumers look for.
Attributes such as organic, antibiotic free
and humanely raised, among others, are
label claims the Sioux Center and Sioux City,

Iowa, facilities source and produce with an
understanding of the quality necessary and
the extra time and effort it demands. The
plants are Certified Organic, Certified Humane,
Animal Welfare Approved, American Humane
Certified, Global Food Safety Initiative
Certified (GFSI) and Sioux Center is 100%
wind powered.

BROADENED ABILITIES
The facility now breaks carcasses down
to sub-primals, packing some case-ready
products including ground and chops rather
than sending all carcasses to Sioux City for
fabrication post-harvest. Also, the Sioux Center
facility can send ham and bacon directly to
customers. The expansion increased efficiency
and productivity, Malenke said.
"Yields on bellies, for example, was a
meaningful part of looking at how to make
this thing work economically, other than just
spending $29 million," Malenke said. "So,
it was the case-ready operation and then
product yields that were really a couple of the
key triggers."
Frontmatec equipment and machines
dominate the landscape of the new addition
to the facility. PPMC and Frontmatec made
worker safety a priority in the design of
the plant. Cages hold the saws and other
dangerous equipment within what Getman
called a "fortress" system. The cages require
several keys for entry in an intricate lockout-tag-out system. The entire addition is
interlocked. If any one part of the line is not
running, no part of the line is running. The
relationship between PPMC and Frontmatec
transcends the common business of a supplier
selling and a customer purchasing.
Getman and Malenke used Frontmatec's
water jet belly cutter to showcase one way
the expansion has multiplied efficiency, as
well as customer satisfaction. The machine
uses imaging coupled with pre-programmable
specifications according to customer
needs, then trims the belly with a stream of

"We didn't
increase
production.
We increased
capabilities."
- GARY MALENKE

www.meatpoultry.com | 06.20 | MEAT+ POULTRY

23


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Meat+Poultry - June 2020

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