Swift Prepared Foods has made it official: It will build a new Italian meats and charcuterie production plant on Paris Road in Columbia.

The company, a subsidiary of JBS USA, will invest $200 million in the plant, which will create 251 jobs with average salaries of $52,695 and a total annual payroll of $13.23 million.

The announcement comes after the city, Boone County and the Missouri Department of Economic Development approved millions of dollars in incentives to attract the plant.

The Missouri Development Finance Board approved Swift’s application for $3.1 million worth of BUILD incentives over the next 15 years, and the company will receive $2.9 million from the Statewide Works program, $485,000 from the Missouri Works program and up to $418,687 through the Chapter 100 program, which offers a combination of local and state tax exemptions.

Swift also is eligible for $7 million worth of sales tax exemptions for materials and supplies it buys to build and furnish the plant.

The Columbia City Council approved $2.3 million in local incentives for the plant and agreed to spend $1.3 million to extend a sewer line to the 80-acre property at 5008 Paris Road. It also approved an economic development rider that would forgive up to $1 million in electric charges over the next five years.

Also, the Boone County Commission approved Chapter 100 incentives that will abate 75% of Swift’s real property taxes over the next 10 years and 75% of personal property taxes for the life of each piece of its equipment.

“We’re excited to welcome Swift Prepared Foods to Columbia,” Gov. Mike Parson said in a news release from the Economic Development Department. “Missouri is a great place for the company to grow its business and develop a world-class workforce. This investment and the jobs it will create will provide many new opportunities for the mid-Missouri region, and we look forward to seeing the company succeed for years to come.”

The company chose Columbia for its strategic location, business-friendly environment and the ability to access raw material and leverage partnerships with their existing assets, according to the news release.

“We are excited to join the Columbia community and to bring good-paying jobs and innovation to the area with the addition of this new, state-of-the-art facility,” Thomas Lopez, president and chief operating officer of Swift Prepared Foods said in the release. “After an extensive review of potential locations, we are confident that Columbia is a great fit for our company, and this decision supports the continued growth we are focused on achieving.”

Mayor Brian Treece hailed the latest addition to Columbia’s food manufacturing industry, which also includes Aurora Organic Dairy, Kraft Heinz, Quaker Oats and Beyond Meat.

The news release said Swift also will partner with Missouri One Start “to provide tailored recruitment assistance to meet the company’s specific workforce needs.”

Even with the tax incentives, which will save the company about $11.2 million over 10 years, Swift will contribute new property taxes to various public entities over that time span, including:

  • nearly $3.2 million to Columbia Public Schools.
  • $213,747 to the city of Columbia.
  • $160,599 to the Columbia Library District.
  • $62,894 to the county’s general fund and $26,218 to its Road and Bridge Fund.
  • $59,533 to Boone County Family Resources.
  • I've been a reporter and editor at Missouri community newspapers for 35 years and joined the Columbia Missourian in 2003. My emphasis at the Missourian is on local government and elections. You can reach me at swaffords@missouri.edu or at 573-884-5366.

Recommended for you