TAR HEEL, NC (WECT) - Smithfield Foods celebrated the opening of a new 500,000-square-foot distribution center Friday in Tar Heel.
Officials say the facility is larger than eight football fields and has the capacity for more than a billion pounds.
The center is expected to employ about 250 workers.
“This is going to be huge for the pork industry and creation of jobs in Bladen County," Senator Bill Rabon said.
“This will help us compete on a global level,” said Kennth M. Sullivan, president and CEO of Smithfield Foods. "We already have 10,000 jobs in the U.S. and this is helping keep us sustainable for a long time.”
“This is a great day not only for agriculture and agribusiness in North Carolina,” added Steve Troxler, N.C. commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "We are an $87 billion industry in North Carolina.
“We have had a bad year in North Carolina for farmers, it’s been tough, I’ve never seen so many farmers cry, but they are resilient and we will get back on their feet. This is a good day for optimism and hope.”