Despite Veto of State Funding, Proposed Florida Meat Plant Saga Continues

June 30, 2023
Commissioners will meet with Newberry city officials in July to determine the fate of the proposed plant in Alachua County.

Discussion around a proposed new meat processing plant near Gainesville, Fla., continues, as Alachua County commissioners this week provided an update and confirmed that the plant’s future would be discussed at the group’s July meeting — despite Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoing $1.75 million in state funding for the project.

The plant was not on the agenda for the June 27, but at least two commissioners stated they would likely vote to stop the plan for the plant, to be built in Newberry, at the next opportunity. The vetoed state funding represented about one-third of the projected cost, according to reports, with the county having allocated $2.5 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds toward the project and applied for federal funds for the remainder.

According to local news reports, one county commissioner introduced a two-part motion that in part would have directed staff to discontinue working on the meat processing plant, cancel the agenda item for the joint meeting with the City of Newberry on July 10, and ask staff to bring back recommendations for alternative uses for the $2.5 million in ARPA funds. The motion did not receive second support, and the county will maintain the July 10 meeting with Newberry officials to determine the future steps for the proposed facility.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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