Moon Ridge Foods, a farm-to-plate pork processor based in Pleasant Hope, Mo., installed next generation equipment and technology into its 110,000-square-foot Pleasant Hope facility, that come August, will process about 600,000 hogs annually.
Moon Ridge Foods combines progressive methods of production and processing and state-of-the art technology and information with uniquely artisan meat cutting.
“We want to create a company that sustains families and communities, throughout the value chain. It’s about farming and processing practices that are respectful to its workers, the welfare of the animals and enhances our natural resources,” says Russ Kremer, co-founder and CEO.
Former Tyson Foods and Swift executive Dave Weaver joined the executive team. Other team members have held key management positions for Kraft Foods, Sara Lee, Excel, Columbus Foods, Seaboard Foods and Nestlé.
Other key features about the facility:
- The primary focus is to produce, process and market the safest, most wholesome pork with the longest natural shelf while ensuring humane treatment to the animals and protecting the environment.
- Strategic producer suppliers will use exclusive lines of the high-quality Duroc breed and follow strict feeding protocols to ensure highly desirable qualities such as marbling, color, tenderness and juiciness.
- The facility encompasses the most modern, welfare-considerate technology in humane harvesting and implements humane handling and resting procedures.
- Approximately 30% of the pork produced will be exported to new markets in Asia.
- This facility is said to be the first U.S. pork processing plant to utilize snap chilling technology to boost shelf life, quality, processing and freshness while reducing energy use and carbon footprint.
- The company also plans to use renewable energy, including solar and wind.
“Pleasant Hope is the best location in North America for Moon Ridge Foods,” Kremer says. “A strong labor supply and transportation infrastructure, close proximity to major consumer centers and an ideal environment for sustainable livestock production make it a great fit.”