Clemens Food Group will be constructing a pork processing facility in Coldwater Township in Michigan, a project that is expected to generate $255.7 million in total capital investment and bring 810 new jobs.
The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) on Dec. 16 approved $12.5 million in Community Development Block Grant funds for the city of Coldwater for infrastructure improvements, land acquisition, workforce development and on-the-job training for the new development. The 550,000 square-foot Clemens Food Group pork processing facility will be located in Coldwater Township and is expected to generate up to $255.7 million in private investment. It is projected to create 810 jobs, 644 of which will be supported by the CDBG funding.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) worked with a group of Michigan pork producers for approximately three years considering the merits of siting a pork processing plant in Michigan. The producers used a $100,000 MDARD grant to conduct a feasibility assessment for a pork processing plant in the state.
Based on that analysis, MDARD and the producers pursued a strategy to find a business partner with expertise in marketing and value creation as an integral part of its business model and to create a relationship with this partner that would benefit the industry in Michigan. This feasibility assessment was essential in building the processing partnership with Clemens Food Group.
Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania-based Clemens Food Group is a sixth-generation, family owned integrated pork production operation including farming, processing, transportation and logistics. The company has a total of 2,200 employees.
Clemens Food Group considered both Michigan and Ohio for a Midwest expansion of its pork processing operations, choosing Michigan for the location of the facility based on the state and community support as well as site feasibility and labor force preparedness.
A key to the success of the project was the collaboration of Coldwater and Coldwater Township on a land transfer agreement. The transfer will allow the city of Coldwater to contribute $4.5 million toward the project for infrastructure improvements at the site, including water and sewer main extensions and a new municipal electric overhead distribution line. That support, along with today’s MSF CDBG approval, is part of an overall package of local and state support that will total $55 million. This also includes nearly $16 million in tax savings as a result of the recently approved personal property tax reform.