LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 8, 2018) – A new pork processing facility built by Lexington-based Gray Construction for Clemens Food Group in Coldwater, Mich., has been named a winner in ProFood World magazine’s 2018 Manufacturing Innovation Awards. In its second annual awards competition, ProFood World recognizes outstanding processing and packaging operations in the food and beverage industry.
Gray Construction completed the 650,000-s.f. fresh pork processing facility in 28 months, allowing Clemens to produce 12 million pounds of pork per week. At full capacity, Clemens processes up to 11,000 hogs per shift and 2.6 million hogs annually. In addition to creating 830 jobs, the facility also enables the company’s market share to expand throughout North America and the world.
“This is a very exciting honor for Clemens Food Group,” said Doug Clemens, CEO of Clemens Food Group. “The Coldwater facility was an immense undertaking for a family-based company, but the strong collaboration between our partners, team members and the local community has positioned us for continued growth and success in Michigan and beyond.”
The state-of-the-art, highly automated Coldwater facility is the first greenfield project for Clemens in the company’s 123-year history.
“Clemens Food Group’s new facility in Coldwater is on the cutting edge of food and beverage technology by implementing highly automated and efficient systems as well as embracing food safety, animal welfare, worker safety and sustainability in its operations,” said Joyce Fassl, editor in chief at ProFood World.
“We couldn’t be happier that the Clemens Coldwater facility is being recognized for the milestone plant it truly is,” said Stephen Gray, president and CEO of Gray Construction. “This facility raises the bar for the protein industry, and Gray is excited to have been part of it.”
Multiple factors were included as part of the judging criteria for ProFood World’s Manufacturing Innovation Awards including the plant’s high level of technology advancement in processing and packaging machinery, major efficiency and cost-savings, exceptional worker recruitment and engagement programs, and major line changeover, flexible manufacturing, food safety, sustainability and maintenance improvement achievements.
The award will be presented to Clemens Food Group on June 21 in Chicago at ProFood Live!, a new food and beverage manufacturing conference created by ProFood World.