Pharos-Tribune

Local News

April 24, 2014

Indiana Packers opening Frankfort plant

Delphi company to move into Frankfort facility

FRANKFORT — Delphi-based Indiana Packers bought a former Birchwood Foods meat plant in Frankfort and plans to reopen it this summer.

Indiana Packers, which employs 2,000 full time at its Delphi plant, is investing $2.28 million to purchase, renovate and equip the 56,500- square-foot facility in Frankfort. The company expects to hire up to 98 people in the expansion, according to a press release from the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

The IEDC offered Indiana Packers up to $400,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $139,500 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans.

The tax credits are performance-based, so the company is not eligible to claim incentives until it actually hires Hoosiers.

The city of Frankfort will consider additional property tax abatement, according to the IEDC.

A spokesman for Indiana Packers indicated the company saw an opportunity and seized it.

Birchwood Foods closed its Frankfort facility last fall, a Birchwood staff member said. It had operated the facility as a U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected meat plant.

As such, the facility already had the construction, configuration and process techniques in place that Indiana Packers needed, Indiana Packers spokesman Jeff Feirick explained.

“We just need to upgrade some of the refrigeration and put some additional equipment in there,” Feirick said, bringing it up to current USDA standards.

Located in Clinton County, the facility is a 35-minute drive from the Delphi hub.

The plant will be used mainly for storage and further processing, slightly different uses than what’s done at the Delphi operation, said Feirick, the company’s vice president of corporate planning.

Indiana Packers, plans to begin hiring production packaging, warehouse and logistics positions this summer. Interested candidates may apply in person at the company’s Delphi facility or the local WorkOne Center.

Founded in 1991, Indiana Packers produces 3.5 million pounds of fresh pork daily for retail and food service customers across the U.S. and in 31 foreign countries. The company is a subsidiary of Japan-based Mitsubishi Corp.

Reach Sarah Einselen at sarah.einselen@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5151.

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