Springdale-based Tyson Foods said Monday it will invest $26 million to expand its Wright Brand Bacon plant in Vernon, Texas. The expansion will add 32 jobs to the facility and bring the plant’s total employment to more than 800.
“This project is great news for our plant, our community and our customers,” said Dane Bonfy, manager of the Wright Brand plant. “We love the Vernon community and look forward to growing our team with the additional positions and meeting the growing demand for our products.”
Hiring for these and other positions starts immediately, Bonfy added.
Tyson said the bacon category has experienced 18% volume growth since 2017. The bump in demand is related to an increase in at-home meals and more consumption of the meat protein amid the ongoing pandemic. Wright Brand has increased volume by 29% as more buyers are introduced to the brand. The expansion is expected to satisfy demand and allow room for additional growth, the company noted in the release.
“We’re pleased we can continue to build on the proud heritage of this iconic and delicious brand,” said Noelle O’Mara, group president of Prepared Foods for Tyson Foods Inc. “More importantly, we’ve had a strong presence in Vernon for nearly 100 years as one of the largest employers. It’s an honor to continue that long history by adding new jobs in the local community.”
The Vernon plant is one of 10 food processing facilities Tyson operates in Texas. Tyson Foods experienced a workplace casualty last Thursday (Jan. 7) at its case-ready plant in Sherman, Texas. Jerry Hickman, 54, was pinned between a semi-trailer and a loading dock as the truck was backing into the bay.
“We’re investigating the tragic death of a team member at our Sherman, Texas, facility that occurred Thursday morning,” the company said. “We’re deeply saddened by the accident and extend our thoughts and prayers to the team member’s family, friends and co-workers.”
Tyson’s Sherman facility produces beef and pork sub-primal cuts, ground beef and pork products for retail grocery.