GARDEN CITY, Kansas – As negative attention dies down and beef prices continue to rise Beef Products Inc is seeing an increase in demand. BPI is reopening their Garden City plant, after closing it along with two others back in 2012.
The company declined to be interviewed, but in an official statement Director of Food Quality and Food Safety Craig Letch said, “As the global demand for quality lean beef continues to rise, BPI is ready to meet that demand by providing consumers high quality, wholesome, safe and nutritious lean beef…”
The product is approved by the FDA, but many distributors have stopped carrying it because of the negative stigma it gained two years ago.
“Lean Finely Textured Beef has its place in the market right now, but it will never be to the level that it once was,” said Ag Expert John Jenkinson. “The lingering fear about lean textured beef is still going to be out there.”
While BPI tarts the transition back into the marketplace, the Garden City plant won’t be back to business as usual just yet. The plant isn’t resuming the lean beef production they had going on in 2012, they’re just collecting raw trimmings to send to another plant in Nebraska.
When they shut down production over 200 employees were working at the Garden City facility, now they’re hiring back about 40.
“Although business conditions are not yet at the point where we can resume lean beef production operations in Garden City, this is certainly a step in the right direction,” Letch said.
“It’s great to see them come back and add jobs to our community,” said Garden City Mayor Roy Cessna. “It’s always exciting to have a business opening up in our community.”