Peco Foods ‘Ramping Up,’ Adding Operations at Pocahontas Plant

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Peco Foods of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, announced on Thursday a companywide realignment amid changing customer needs and economic conditions that will mean more activity at the poultry firm’s Pocahontas plant.

That repositioning includes adding operations to its Randolph County and Sebastopol, Mississippi, facilities, which Peco said “have the capability to expand value-added product lines and meet rising demands for customer-driven, innovative foods.” 

The company’s $200 million integrated poultry complex in Pocahontas opened in 2016. The project was expected to create more than 1,000 direct jobs in northeast Arkansas. That same year, Peco opened a $35 million feed mill in Corning (Clay County) that was expected to create 50 jobs.

As the company ramps up and adds operations in Pocahontas and elsewhere, it will scale back processing and live operations in other locations. Three Mississippi facilities, in Brooksville, Canton and Philadelphia, will close.

The company said it will begin communicating with affected employees immediately and plans to finalize all changes by summer. Peco also said the repositioning “will create opportunities for more competitive performance.”

“Since Peco’s beginnings as a family-owned company 83 years ago, the industry has drastically shifted,” Chief Operating Officer Bill Griffith said in a new release. “By streamlining our operations, we can continue building a sustainable company that will support the families and communities of our team members and customers for years to come. The decisions announced today — each carefully considered — will position Peco strongly for future growth and industry leadership.”

Peco employs 7,000 people throughout Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Arkansas Business will update this story.