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Clemens Food Group’s Coldwater, Michigan, Plant ‘Busting at the Seams’

Nov. 1, 2023
In meeting to gain approval for expansion of truck parking lot, Clemens representative relays it is ramping up hog production and adding a second shift to Michigan plant that was opened in 2018.

In a local news report announcing that Clemens Food Group’s Coldwater, Mich., facility had received zoning approval for use of asphalt millings to pave and expand a truck parking lot, the company said the plant was “basically busting at the seams” and increasing its production as well.

Clemens project manager Andrew Knowles explained that the pork processing plant on Newton Road was ramping up its production from 12,000 hogs per day to 16,000, adding a second shift. The parking lot was used to house empty trailers that would later be filled with packed meat, and that the 30% production increase would require at least 30 more semis per day to haul the product.

Knowles said that Clemens has produced 55% more pork products at the plant since its opening in 2018.

The Zoning Board of Appeals meeting focused on whether Clemens could use the asphalt millings rather than pave the lot with concrete or solid asphalt (as required under local ordinance), which Knowles said would cost more than $1 million and could not be completed by April (required deadline) because of impending winter weather.

After much discussion between the board members and some compromise, the report said that the variance was approved for use of asphalt millings that would be designed with packed gravel and compacted asphalt millings atop that base.

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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