The GNP Company announced on Monday that  it has started the first phase of a two-phase expansion plan for its Cold Spring and St. Cloud, Minnesota area operations.  At the same time, it shared a new organizational structure for its executive leadership team.  “This marks the next stage of a new future and growth plan for GNP Company,” said President Steve Jurek. “These changes underscore our continued commitment—as well as that of our new owner, Maschhoff Family Foods—to investing in the growth of GNP Company’s business and people. It’s truly an exciting time for us.”

The first phase of expansion, which began earlier this month, is expected to cost $35 million.  It includes a building addition and the installation of new equipment to add capacity in the Cold Spring plant’s first processing area as well as build-up of the company’s hatchery. Plans for the second phase, which may include a building addition and the installation of new technology and equipment to further automate processes, are still in development.  Approval is contingent upon the company’s future business plans, business expectations, and customer needs.

If both phases of the expansion are completed, annual plant production capacity will increase by an estimated 33 percent, which equates to about 88 million more processed pounds of chicken. Furthermore, the full expansion is expected to make the Cold Spring facility one of the most automated meat processing plants in North America, the company said.

“This expansion will increase GNP Company’s ability to satisfy the expected increase in customer and consumer demand for our products and brands, while advancing our safety processes by reducing physical job demands and improving ergonomics,” Jurek said.

The Cold Spring processing plant makes Just BARE and Gold’n Plump chicken products for the premium branded retail business segment and supports new product innovation. Company sales grew to about $452 million in 2014 (January through December)—an increase of 13 percent over 2013.

GNP Company has also made recent strategic organizational changes within the company’s executive leadership team, which necessitated the creation of multiple new positions and promotions across the company.  This new organizational design will help achieve the company’s long-term strategies involving product supply, automation, people development, and retail product evolution while offering team members and family farm partners new opportunities for growth.

Jurek’s executive leadership team now includes the following individuals and roles:

  •  Executive Vice President of Processing and Supply Tim Wensman, a 34-year veteran of GNP Company who previously served as EVP of Customer Processes
  • Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Service Brian Roelofs, who previously served as Director of Sales for nine years
  • Vice President of Live Operations and Engineering Bill Lanners, a 30-year veteran who previously served as Director of Live Operations
  • Senior Director of Human Resources Peggy Brown, a 22-year veteran who previously served as Director of Human Resources
  • Senior Director of Technical Services and Chief Financial Officer, both which are currently open.