The Minnesota-based agri-giant has other facilities that have dedicated production lines to antibiotic-free and non-medicated products, said Dean Barker, director of operations for Cargill’s premix and nutrition business in the US.
However, the $50m premix and nutrition facility in Lewisburg, Ohio will be the first for the company that is entirely dedicated to non-medicated production.
“As consumers prefer higher transparency in their food purchases and more antibiotic-free choices it will be critical that we are proactive in manufacturing our premixes and nutritional products efficiently, safely and with integrity. There is an increase in food companies requiring medicated-free production facilities to assure a risk-free supply chain," he told FeedNavigator.
“This investment is complementary to our expansion into natural products and additives,” he added.
The company said that it had broken ground on the new plant last week, which will be located on the same site as another Cargill facility. The construction of the latest facility is expected to be finished in 2019.
The project has been in the works for four years, added Barker.
The 220,000 square-foot facility is intended to produce non-medicated and antibiotic-free animal nutrition products for use with production animals including cattle, dairy cows and poultry, said Barker. It also will be able to produce custom blends requested by customers.
The Lewisburg West facility is intended to supply customers in the US, he said. It also offers Cargill the chance to expand into a new market offering premixes and nutritional products for pet food companies, he said.
Additionally, the plant is expected to support the production of the company's Provimi brand. The existing facility at that location will be able to generate medicated products used to maintain the health of livestock and poultry.
“The facility was designed to ensure that cross-contamination does not occur,” Barker said of facility elements intended to make it “state-of-art”. Several other areas of the production center also have been revamped, he added.
“We’ve also improved automation capabilities to eliminate as much human error as we can,” he said. “The new 160-foot tower will house our precision micro-dosing system, which will provide best-in-class accuracy.”
The production facility will include four production lines and be able to generate about 86,000 tons of animal nutrition products annually, the company said.
“The design features the ability to separate production lines by inclusion rates,” said Barker. “This is important to safely provide customers their low inclusion products with exact accuracy.”
When it is brought online, the new plant will be an addition to the six premix feed and nutrition generating facility that Cargill operates in the US, the company said.