CHICAGO — Conagra Brands, Inc. opened a new vegetable processing plant in Waseca, Minn. The 245,000-square foot facility will process fresh vegetables to support the company’s frozen meal business and Birds Eye brand.
The plant replaces a 92-year-old facility in Waseca and will provide approximately 20% more capacity for processing vegetables. It will process and produce more than 120 million lbs of cut and cob corn, 45 million lbs of peas and more than 20 million lbs of rice annually, according to the company. Conagra expects it will use around 25% less water per lb of product produced than the previous facility.
Peas and corn processed at the plant come from a network of nearby growers working to save water, support biodiversity and improve soil health. Conagra invested in technology in the fields to monitor the plants using real-time data and sync harvesting with the facility’s production schedule.“Our teams looked at every aspect of the facility to identify automation opportunities to improve productivity and modernize food safety practices throughout our operations,” said Ale Eboli, executive vice president and chief supply chain officer at Conagra Brands.