Pork America, a nationwide producer-owned pork cooperative, is negotiating to buy the former Ace Union hog slaughter and processing plant in Estherville, Iowa. The co-op formed America Pork of Iowa to operate the plant, which is scheduled to open sometime this summer.

APIA plans to process about 100 head of hogs per day with approximately 12 full-time employees. Within a year, the group projects increasing slaughter to 600 head per day, eventually employing 40 or more workers. In addition, APIA expects to operate the facility near capacity, while providing custom kill/cut to meet the needs of shareholders and other producers. The group anticipates the plant becoming profitable in six months.

Buying this plant will allow Pork America shareholders to capture profits throughout the pork chain. According to a Pork America news release, the plant will work on a custom-processing basis to bring high-quality, innovative pork products to established and test markets. Once established, Pork America shareholders plan to purchase more processing facilities throughout the country.

Because APIA won’t be able to purchase the plant until some time in 2002, the group has entered into an agreement with a temporary Limited Liability Company, Northland Pork Processors, to begin operations, the release says. This will allow APIA to seek economic development funds and generate income. Under the agreement, NPP will make the initial purchase of the facility and APIA will purchase the plant within the next year for its purchase price plus interest and any other costs NPP incurs during operation.

For more information, call 1-877-987-7675 or check out the Web site at www.porkamerica.com.

Pork America