Article by Arkansas Economic Development Commission
Stuttgart, Arkansas: Due to unprecedented growth in its domestic packaged business, 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. As a result, 80 new jobs are being created across its Stuttgart and Jonesboro plants. Riceland currently employs 1,500 people company-wide.
The majority of the expansion will be at the Stuttgart location, including two new packaging lines. The two new packaging lines will enhance the cooperative’s ability to meet the demands of the ever-changing consumer. 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 recognized the evolving marketplace and took 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.”
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ben Noble said the business strategy has focused on the expansion of our value-added packaged business for some time.
“We appreciate the Governor’s assistance in helping us take advantage of the increased demand in the marketplace,” said Noble. “The majority of these jobs will be in Stuttgart and Jonesboro, Arkansas, 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.
“As the world’s largest miller and marketer of rice, Riceland Foods has been a significant economic engine not only in Stuttgart, but in the entire state, propelling Arkansas to becoming the top state in rice production,” Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Commerce Mike Preston said. “As the company celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, it is with great pleasure that we celebrate the expansion of these two plants and the impact the company will have in their communities.”
Information on open positions can be found on Riceland.com.