Cargill Announces $20M Expansion to Big Lake Facility
In response to increased customer and consumer demand for a greater variety of cooked egg products, Cargill announced Wednesday that it will invest $20 million in expanding its egg processing facility in Big Lake.
The expansion will enable the facility to pasteurize, mix and cook a number of new egg products for foodservice and protein ingredient customers, the company said. It will add a dozen new positions at the site to support the new operations – increasing employment there by 16 percent, or about 90 workers. The project also involves doubling the facility’s annual requirement for eggs from family farms in the area to 170 million.
“This investment underscores our ongoing commitment to the Big Lake community and our employees, egg suppliers and restaurant and foodservice customers throughout the upper Midwest,” said Jared Johnson, the Big Lake plant general manager.
The move is only the latest among Cargill’s efforts to meet apparent growth in the market, as the company – an agriculture behemoth that ranks as the largest private business by revenues in the nation – has invested a total of almost $900 million in the past two years.
At egg production facilities, this included a 2016 investment of $27 million in Lake Odessa, Michigan, and a $12 million expansion in Mason City, Iowa, in 2017.
“Economies are improving. More people are moving into the middle class and the world population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. These factors are driving significantly increased demand for animal protein around the world,” said Johnson. “Cargill’s protein team is prepared to play a critical role in meeting this demand and nourish the world with sustainable, high quality protein.”
When the Big Lake facility opened in 2001, it joined sites in Monticello; Mason City, Iowa; and Lake Odessa, Michigan as part of Cargill’s egg processing operations. Overall, Cargill has a presence in 70 countries with 150,000 employees worldwide.
Construction on the Big Lake expansion is set to begin in May, and the new features are expected to become functional in January 2019.