St. Joseph pet food supplier expanding by building plant, adding 20 jobs

08/25/2014 1:54 PM

08/25/2014 9:27 PM

Protein LLC, a St. Joseph company that supplies ingredients to pet food companies, is investing $11.6 million to build a new plant and plans to add 20 full-time jobs.

Site preparation work has begun on 9.5-acres in St. Joseph’s Stockyards Industrial Park area, the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce said in a news release. The plant site and some tax abatement were provided as development incentives, though no total value has been put on the package.

The site was provided to the company by the St. Joseph Regional Port Authority and Buchanan County, which also removed a lot of concrete from the site, left over from its stockyard days. The company also will receive at least a 50 percent real property tax abatement on the improvements it makes, and additional incentives are possible, pending city approval.

Protein LLC, a subsidiary of BHJ USA Inc. of Omaha, currently employs 50 people and leases space for its operations, which supply Nestle and other pet food makers.

“We are excited about finally breaking ground for our new plant in St. Joseph, which is designed to fit our future needs and allow us to better service our customers in the Midwest,” Thomas Bendix Christensen, president of BHJ USA and Protein, said in the release.

BHJ USA provides raw materials to the pet food, pharmaceutical and fur industries in North America and Europe.

Greg Hack, ghack@kcstar.com

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