Golden State Foods (GSF), Irvine, Calif., opened the doors to its newest meat processing plant in Opelika, Ala. The 165,000-square-foot, LEED-certified processing plant will process approximately 170 million pounds of protein products a year. The Opelika location is GSF's first fresh beef processing plant, and created more than 200 jobs.

The facility services six McDonald's distribution centers and 2,900 McDonald's restaurants throughout the Southeast as well as four Nestlé manufacturing facilities.

"The opening of our new protein plant is a true milestone in GSF's history," says Dr. Wayne Morgan, corporate vice president and president, protein products. "The careful planning and design of this new building is centered on people, safety, sustainability, technology and innovation, and it continues our commitment to creating high-quality beef products for our valued customers. Overall, the central location of this facility in Opelika will allow GSF to better serve our customers, so that they can better serve theirs."

"Golden State Foods began providing meat products to McDonald's in the early 1950s, and it's a true testament to our partnership that we're here today, celebrating this new processing facility that provides us with both frozen and fresh beef, with fresh beef being a significant and positive change to our system," says Ray Vargocko, director strategic sourcing – U.S. supply chain, McDonald's, Chicago. "We're proud to bring our customers hotter and juicier quarter-pounder burgers, and we're proud to continue our partnership with Golden State Foods."