An investment group in California acquired and renovated a former poultry processing plant in the city of Pine Bluff, the county seat of Jefferson County, Arkansas, and began production in June 2012. The company, Horizon Foods LP, processes hens for international distribution. Horizon Foods exports to markets in China, Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.
The company chose this facility in Southeast Arkansas primarily for its location, which makes shipping the finished product easier. Situated on a four-line divided highway, the plant is less than five miles from Interstate-530. From there, products are trucked north to Little Rock in 30 minutes.
The $4.5 million project has created 175 jobs so far and is on track to create more than 300 jobs by 2017. Workers are paid an average of $10.23 per hour, plus benefits. The project qualified for local incentives to cover the cost of purchasing a refrigeration system. The incentive funds were paid from receipts of county economic development sales tax passed specifically to encourage companies to locate job-creating businesses in the county. The project also met criteria for state workforce training assistance and other incentives.