Mars Petcare US to Invest $50 Million to Expand Operations in Arkansas. First-ever LEED-Gold certified pet food plant will add capacity and jobs.
Nashville, Tenn. October 23, 2013. Today, Mars Petcare US announced a $50 million expansion of operations at its state-of-the-art wet pet food manufacturing plant in Fort Smith, Ark. The company is adding capacity inside the existing plant, which will add another 42 new positions to its Arkansas workforce.
“We’re extremely pleased to announce this large investment in our Fort Smith plant, bringing even more opportunity and jobs in manufacturing to Arkansas and the Fort Smith area,â€ said Chris Haas,” plant manager at Mars Petcare US in Fort Smith, Ark. “In just four short years, our associates have demonstrated success at this facility and built lasting partnerships within the City of Fort Smith, the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the State of Arkansas. We’re thankful for their continued confidence in our products and people.”
Construction has begun and production is expected to begin on the line during the winter of 2014.
When the Fort Smith, Ark., manufacturing facility opened in September 2009, it was celebrated as Arkansas’ first sustainable manufacturing facility and the first sustainable pet food manufacturing facility in the world. The facility is LEED-Gold certified from the United States Green Building Council.Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the nationally-accepted benchmark in the U.S. for designing, constructing and operating green buildings. The Fort Smith facility was awarded Gold status for its impressive efforts to recycle water, reduce energy use and protect against erosion and light pollution.
The Mars Petcare Fort Smith facility currently employs 125 associates and manufactures CESARA® Canine Cuisine as well as wet pet food for private label brands. Since the plant’s opening in 2009, Mars associates have contributed to the community through their charitable work. Last year, Mars associates constructed a new training site at the plant for the Fort Smith Police Department’s canine officers. In addition, the site also partners with Sebastian County Humane Society on local adoption events for pets in need of homes.
Quotes from Arkansas officials:
“It’s only been four years since Mars Petcare opened this facility in Fort Smith, and it’s already announcing plans to expand,” Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe said. “I spoke then about the strength of Fort Smith’s manufacturing tradition, and this announcement emphasizes that strength and endurance.”
“This significant financial investment and the addition of new jobs by Mars Petcare is more great news for Fort Smith, and is an example of the economic development partnership between an existing industry, the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce and the City of Fort Smith,” states Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders.
“I am thrilled to hear about the Mars Petcare’s expansion. They’ve been creating jobs in Ft. Smith for almost five years now, and this investment proves what we’ve been saying all along, that Fort Smith is a great place for businesses to set up shop,” Senator John Boozman said. “Our skilled workforce, business-friendly environment, transportation infrastructure, and low operating costs creates an atmosphere for our communities to grow by bringing in more job creators. It is my hope that more manufacturers follow Mars’ lead in Arkansas.”
In 2009, Mars Petcare US announced they would build the company’s first LEED-Certified facility in our community. Here we are four years later and the company announces a significant capital investment that will add new jobs to our region,” said Tim Allen, president of the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce. The partnership between Mars Petcare, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, City of Fort Smith and the Chamber is a remarkable example of a city and a business working together to benefit our region.”
I’m excited with the news of Mars Petcare’s expansion,” said Congressman Steve Womack. This announcement validates what we’ve known all along: a great company, Fort Smith’s proven workforce, and terrific public-private partnerships working together enhance our local, regional, and national economies.”
About Mars Petcare US
Mars Petcare US is the U.S. operations of the world’s largest petcare company at the privately-held Mars, Incorporated. Mars Petcare US produces some of the world’s most beloved pet care brands, including PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs, CESAR® Canine Cuisine, SHEBA® Entr©esfor Cats, WHISKAS® Food for Cats, THE GOODLIFE RECIPE® Brand, and TEMPTATIONS® Treats for Cats, as well as exclusive brands products for some of the leading retailers in the U.S. Headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., more than 2,100 Mars Petcare US associates make, sell and distribute its high-quality pet food from 13 manufacturing facilities located in communities across the U.S. For more information, please visit www.mars.com.