Meat & Livestock News

Purina Unveils Major Pet Food Plant in Eden

TL;DR: Purina opens a $450 million pet food plant in Eden, NC, marking a major investment in technology, sustainability, and job creation, and strengthening community partnerships through charitable contributions.

Eden, NC — Nestlé Purina celebrated the opening of its new pet food manufacturing site on March 26. This event marked the end of over three years of planning and an investment exceeding $450 million, making it Purina’s first venture in North Carolina.

Nina Leigh Krueger, CEO of Purina, highlighted the strategic importance of this location. It aims to meet rising demand, especially in the eastern and southeastern United States. “Our Eden factory is a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to invest in our US operations,” Krueger stated.

In September 2020, Purina announced its plans for this 1.3 million square feet facility, revitalising 80% of a previous brewery. The site is equipped with the latest technology, including Purina’s inaugural vertical dryer in the US and advanced automated systems for warehousing and freezing.

Moreover, the Eden site houses a Manufacturing Experience Center. It’s the first by Purina, designed to inspire future generations towards modern manufacturing careers.

Factory manager, Will Steiner, expressed excitement about beginning production. “We’re eager to start manufacturing beloved pet food brands with a dedicated team upholding Purina’s high standards,” he said.

This facility sprawls over 1,350 acres, reaching into the North Carolina-Virginia border. It represents Purina’s 23rd manufacturing location in the US, aimed to operate without waste disposal and support the company’s sustainability objectives, including water conservation and achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2025.

Over 300 jobs have already been created, with more expected. Nestlé plans to further invest $2 billion in Purina’s manufacturing capabilities by 2025. Additionally, construction is underway for a 24th factory in Ohio, slated to start operations within the next year.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and Senator Phil Berger, among others, attended the grand opening. “Purina’s choice to adopt the Eden brewery demonstrates faith in our workforce and commitment to sustainable practices,” said Governor Cooper.

The celebration also included charitable donations by Purina to local entities, emphasising community support. Contributions included $30,000 to Rockingham Community College for a new workforce development centre and $10,000 to the Dan River Basin Association for the “Tails on Trails” program, encouraging outdoor activities for pets and their owners.

This new facility not only underscores Purina’s growth and sustainability efforts but also strengthens its bond with the Eden community and beyond.