Riceland Foods announced Wednesday that the cooperative intends to make a $13.2 million plant expansion, which requires additional personnel in order to meet demand, due to “unprecedented growth in its domestic packaged business.” As a result, 80 new jobs will be created across its Stuttgart and Jonesboro plants. Riceland currently employs 1,500 people companywide.
Riceland is a cooperative, which means it is owned by its 5,500 family-farmer members, who are also company stockholders and growers.
The majority of the expansion will be at the Stuttgart location, including two new packaging lines, which will enhance the cooperative’s ability to meet the increase in demands. The expansion will also support additional renovation of existing facilities and updates to existing production lines.
Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Dallas, said the Riceland Board of Directors is taking steps to position the farmer-owned cooperative for the future.
“Riceland has been a key employer in eastern Arkansas for years,” said Dallas. “We’re excited about the opportunity to grow this segment of our business.”
Governor Asa Hutchinson said Riceland’s addition of 80 new employees is setting the cooperative up for future success.
“I want to congratulate Riceland on its centennial anniversary,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “It is always great to see our homegrown businesses thrive and expand. For 100 years, Riceland has fed millions of people around the world and has grown to become a leader in the rice industry. The 80 new jobs being created by the company, along with the $13.2 million expansion, will significantly affect these new employees and their families in Stuttgart and Jonesboro and help Riceland continue on its path of success.”
“We appreciate the Governor’s assistance in helping us take advantage of the increased demand in the marketplace,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ben Noble. “The majority of these jobs will be in Stuttgart and Jonesboro, and will provide a much needed boost to the local economies in those areas of the state. Ultimately, the true beneficiary will be our farmers due to the increased margins we are able to secure.”
Riceland is partnering with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to help recruit new team members for these new roles. Information on open positions can be found on Riceland.com.