Auburn excited about Champion start-up


By Chris Cooper - ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com



Photo submitted The kitchen in Auburn is 371,100 square feet and is located on an 84-acre site.


Photo submitted Champion is installing the best technology available to prepare a unique variety of innovative foods reflecting the Kentucky region.


Photo submitted Champion Petfood is located at 12871 Bowling Green Road, across the road from Shaker Equipment Sales.


Photo submitted Inside the Auburn kitchen of Champion Petfood.


Champion Petfoods is gearing up to begin operation in its first specialty pet food kitchen in the U.S., which just so happens to be located at the out-skirts of Auburn.

Over 147 jobs will be created with the opening of Champion Petfoods and possibly more to come as the cooking increases. The building site is spread out over 84 acres with two separate buildings. Last count the project investment in Logan County is approximately $122 million.

“We are very excited about the start-up of the Champion Petfood kitchen in our city,” said Auburn Mayor Mike Hughes. “This is a project we have been working towards for sometime, and to see it come to fruition is extremely gratifying in many ways. We are looking forward to a wonderful partnership with Champion, and feel their presence will be a great asset to our city, our county and our state.”

The Auburn kitchen will supply pet food solely to the U.S. market and will reflect Champion’s BAFRINO (Biologically Appropriate Fresh Regional Ingredients) mandate. The 371,100 square foot facility is located on an 84-acre site, 30 acres of which are devoted to kitchen operations with the remaining property to stay primarily undisturbed, with walking paths and pet exercise spaces. The facility includes a state-of-the art kitchen designed to meet food safety standards for human foods for the prevention of foodborne illness, as well as a distribution center and office space to support the kitchen operations.

Many of the world’s most successful companies have discovered that Kentucky, land of the thoroughbred, is a great place to build their business. Champion agrees. Kentucky is the perfect location to prepare Champion’s Biologically Appropriate™ dog and cat foods.

“The agricultural heritage and proximity to ranches and farms make locating to western Kentucky an excellent choice,” said Champion Petfoods President and CEO, Frank Burdzy. “We are very pleased that the Commonwealth of Kentucky is partnered with us to grow our Biologically Appropriate mandate.”

Rural Kentucky provides Champion access to local farmers and growers, allowing the opportunity to feature a diversity of Fresh Regional Ingredients in its foods.

“You can be regional anywhere in the world and Kentucky has a great local food culture,” said Champion Petfoods Chief Brand Officer, Peter Muhlenfeld. “Access to new farmers, growers and producers creates opportunity to feature a diversity of Fresh Regional Ingredients in our ACANA and ORIJEN dog and cat foods.”

Champion’s Canadian kitchens will focus on supplying the pet specialty market in Canada, Europe and Asia, while the new Kentucky kitchens will supply the growing pet specialty market in the USA. As with Champion’s Morinville Kitchens, the new Kentucky kitchens will only make ACANA and ORIJEN brands exclusively – no private label foods.

“Our new custom fitted kitchens will advance our Biologically Appropriate and Fresh Regional Ingredient foods,” said Burdzy. “We’re going to install the best technology available to prepare a unique variety of innovative foods reflecting the Kentucky region.”

Champion’s new “Made in Kentucky” foods will be available in 2016.

Photo submitted The kitchen in Auburn is 371,100 square feet and is located on an 84-acre site.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_champion_auburn_ky_083015_low_res_069.jpgPhoto submitted The kitchen in Auburn is 371,100 square feet and is located on an 84-acre site.

Photo submitted Champion is installing the best technology available to prepare a unique variety of innovative foods reflecting the Kentucky region.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_champion_auburn_ky_083015_low_res_093.jpgPhoto submitted Champion is installing the best technology available to prepare a unique variety of innovative foods reflecting the Kentucky region.

Photo submitted Champion Petfood is located at 12871 Bowling Green Road, across the road from Shaker Equipment Sales.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_champion_auburn_ky_092815_005.jpgPhoto submitted Champion Petfood is located at 12871 Bowling Green Road, across the road from Shaker Equipment Sales.

Photo submitted Inside the Auburn kitchen of Champion Petfood.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_champion_auburn_ky_063015_101.jpgPhoto submitted Inside the Auburn kitchen of Champion Petfood.

By Chris Cooper

ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com

To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394.

To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394.

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