Officials for Tyson Foods Inc. have proposed building a new 200,000-SF processing facility in Green Forest, across the street from its existing poultry plant at the corner of Arch Avenue and Tyson Drive.
A group of Tyson Foods employees presented the new plant concept, valued at approximately $136 million, to the finance committee of the Carroll County Quorum Court on Wednesday. The project would create about 85 jobs once it is fully operational.
Plans call for the facilities to be connected by a corridor. Improvements would include new equipment and production lines, as well as processes and technology designed to benefit food safety, quality and workplace safety. Construction could begin as early as summer and the project would be completed in late 2017.
According to the company, the project is contingent in part on the approval of certain tax abatements from the Carroll County Quorum Court and sales and use tax credits from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC).
“This project would allow us to better serve our foodservice customers through improved product mix and greater efficiencies,” Noel White, president of poultry for Tyson Foods, said in a company news release. “This is the first new plant construction project Tyson Foods has proposed to build in a number of years and we’re hopeful we can partner with Carroll County and the AEDC to invest in our home state.”
The Green Forest plant currently produces a variety of partially cooked chicken products for foodservice and retail customers, including nuggets and portioned fillets.
The new project will increase the facility’s partially cooked capacity, increasing efficiency by reducing transportation of products to other locations for further processing.
The development of the new plant would not change the number of chickens grown for operations in Carroll County, the company said.
Originally built by Franz Foods in 1959, Tyson Foods purchased the Green Forest plant in 1967. The facility currently employs more than 1,250 people, generating an annual payroll of more than $37 million. Tyson Foods paid family farmers more than $29 million during its 2015 fiscal year to grow chickens to supply its Carroll County operations in Green Forest and Berryville.