ConAgra Foods, Inc. will invest $30 million to expand its Lamb Weston business in Boardman, Oregon. Lamb Weston is a leading supplier of frozen potato, sweet potato, appetizer and vegetable products to restaurants and retailers.
The investment will add additional processing capacity for making formed products such as hash brown patties and potato puffs. The addition of the line at the company’s existing facility is expected to add 50 jobs.
With continued increase in demand for frozen potato products domestically and internationally, and the increasing popularity of formed products, this capacity expansion is necessary to fulfill Lamb Weston’s global growth projections, company officials said. Construction on the state-of-the-art processing line is expected to begin in the spring, with completion in 2017. The added line will increase processing capacity by approximately 50 million pounds once complete.
“With the frozen potato category growing globally, we have tremendous opportunity to support our customers’ growth in the US and around the world,” said Greg Schlafer, President, Lamb Weston. “To capture that growth, we need to make more products. Expanding our operations in the Columbia Basin – with access to great potatoes, people and ports – just makes sense.”
According to company officials, its facility in Boardman is strategically situated to support domestic and international growth, with proximity to prime growing, storage and shipping operations, and easy access to the Port of Morrow. The company opened an initial expansion of the facility in June, 2014, adding 300 million pounds of capacity with a new fry line. That $200 million project included plans for the addition announced today. Lamb Weston currently employs 390 people in Boardman.
“Lamb Weston’s planned expansion shows their continued commitment to the Port of Morrow, Boardman and the Mid-Columbia region as the right place to do business,” said Gary Neal, General Manager, Port of Morrow. “Their ongoing investments add good paying jobs to our Region and we are fortunate to have such great partners at the Port.”
Lamb Weston is one of the largest employers in the Columbia Basin, with approximately 4,500 employees at a corporate office and seven manufacturing facilities in the region. A frozen potato industry leader, the company operates 22 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China.