In response to increased global demand for frozen french fries, ConAgra Foods, Inc.’s Lamb Weston business will expand operations at its facility in Richland, WA with the addition of a new french fry processing line. The more than $200 million investment is expected to add 128 full time positions.
Worldwide demand for frozen french fries continues to increase, and Euromonitor predicts that the frozen potato category will grow 2.6 billion pounds by 2020. This capacity expansion will allow Lamb Weston to continue its global growth. Construction on the state-of-the-art processing line is expected to begin immediately, with completion in the fall of 2017. Once complete, the added line is expected to increase annual processing capacity by more than 300 million pounds.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to help our customers realize their global growth projections, but we need to make more french fries to do that,” said Greg Schlafer, President, Lamb Weston. “Investing in capabilities like this is indicative of the opportunity we see in potatoes, and our specific opportunity at Lamb Weston to lead the category.
“We’re proud to be a part of the community in the Tri Cities, and expanding in Richland is a natural extension of our existing presence here,” Schlafer added. “We’re especially grateful to the community partners who worked with us to bring this expansion plan to life.”
Lamb Weston worked with several officials and organizations in the Tri Cities and Washington to establish its plans for expansion, including Governor Jay Inslee, the City of Richland, Senator Sharon Brown, Senator Mark Schoesler, TRIDEC, the Association of Washington Businesses, and the Washington Department of Commerce.
“We are so pleased with Lamb Weston’s decision to expand their operations in Richland,” states Cindy Reents, City Manager of the City of Richland. “This is not only an investment in our city but our community overall, and we are thrilled to continue our relationship with this respected company.”
Lamb Weston’s existing facility in Richland employs approximately 500 people, and was built in 1972. The company has several offices and facilities in the Tri Cities, including an Innovation Center in Richland, corporate offices in Kennewick, and two additional manufacturing facilities in Pasco. Lamb Weston is one of the largest employers in the Columbia Basin, with approximately 4,500 employees in the region. A frozen potato industry leader, the company operates 22 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China.
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