Tyson Foods plans to spend more than $30 million to add bacon production at its plant in Cherokee, Iowa. Bacon operations at the facility are currently scheduled to begin by late summer 2006 and will complement production at the company's existing bacon plants in Omaha, Nebraska and Vernon, Texas.

Because of the move to bacon production, ham operations at Cherokee will be shifted to Tyson facilities in Concordia, Mo., and Buffalo, NY. In addition to ham, the Cherokee plant makes deli meats, Canadian bacon and hot dogs.

As part of the company’s efforts to enhance its processed meats business, Tyson will close two facilities in northeast Iowa. The Independence and Oelwein plants, which produce chopped ham and sliced luncheon meats, will close effective March 17. The company cited the age of the plants and needed capital improvements as the reason why it’s economically not feasible to keep them open.

The more efficient use of other processed meat facilities, together with reduced costs from the facility closures are estimated to generate annual pre-tax cost savings of approximately $15 to $20 million, a portion of which is estimated to be generated in the last six

months of the current fiscal year.

 

Tyson Foods