Photo courtesy Melissa Kruminas, Choice Media Productions
by Stephen Dafoe
Three months after making the announcement they would build a third kitchen facility for their product line in Kentucky, Champion Petfoods broke ground on the project and threw a party to commemorate the event.
Champion’s third kitchen is being built in Auburn, Kentucky, a rural location 15 minutes outside Bowling Green. The plant, which Champion has said will be operational in the first quarter of 2016, will cost 85 million and will employee 147 people, according to the Park City Daily News.
The new facility will join Champion’s Oakville, Ontario kitchen and their Morinville facility to meet global demand for the product. The Kentucky operation will service the company’s American market, allowing Morinville to service Canadian and overseas clients. Champion exports their biologically appropriate pet food to more than 70 countries.
Champion selected their American location in keeping with their corporate philosophy of using fresh local ingredients. The company had 12 different options and ultimately settled on Kentucky because the company found the local farmers and primary providers were focused on providing a high quality food that would be great for Champion’s product.”
More opportunity for Morinville
The decision to set up shop south of the border does not mean a lessening of activities in Morinville where the company began. Although the company sees the United States as their largest and fastest growing market, the new plant will allow Morinville to service markets in Europe and Asia that have been wanting more of the company’s product. Champion President Frank Burdzy has said the American plant affords the company the chance to invest more dollars to bring their Morinville kitchens up one more notch, allowing Champion to really hit hard for the Canadian, European and Asian markets.