Bruce Foods, one of America's largest privately owned food manufacturers, combines expansion and renewable energy to create jobs for the city of Wilson, N.C. The innovative renewable energy system, which allows the facility to use its own renewable energy, and the 11,000-square-foot expansion of the manufacturing floor is part of Bruce Foods' "Green Initiative."
"Increases in the facility's Green energy use will reduce our carbon footprint, which in-turn will provide the facility with added production capacity and an increased workforce," said Patrick Brown, Bruce Foods’ chief operating officer and chief financial officer.
"The expansion of Bruce Foods' facility in Wilson, N.C., is welcome news for the community of eastern North Carolina. I also want to commend Bruce Foods for using renewable energy technology," said North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.
The renewable energy system recovers methane gas, from the plant's by-product waste, that is normally released into the atmosphere. Once recovered, the gas provides a significant portion of the plant's energy needs, and will continue to power the plant's growing capacity. Previously, the production facility would purchase natural gas and vent the unused methane gas. A new six million gallon gas digester is part of the improvements made to the plant's water treatment system, which has a capacity of 22 million gallons. A variety of equipment and configurations has been installed on the digester to ensure an efficient process. Methane gas produced is being contained, pressurized and then piped to the plant to be burned as a combustible fuel in order to make steam for processing. These efficiencies achieved in waste recovery moves Bruce Foods even closer to complete sustainability.
"The plant and water system improvements are the latest successes in Bruce Food's 'Green Initiative;' which will also result in more jobs and a greater demand for North Carolina agricultural produce such as sweet potatoes, white potatoes and other crops," said Brown.
"Our city is grateful to Bruce Foods for providing jobs and economic strength to our community. As America looks forward to new green energy solutions, I'm excited to know that a company right here in Wilson is making this investment," said Wilson mayor C. Bruce Rose.
The new process area will also enable the plant to process different foods than are currently being produced.
About Bruce Foods
Bruce Foods, founded in 1928, has been manufacturing original Cajun and Tex Mex food products for more than 80 years; pioneering the first canned Mexican foods. Today, Bruce Foods is one of America's largest privately owned food manufacturers with more than 1,200 employees and four processing plants in the U.S., and an affiliate plant at Kerkrade in the Netherlands. Products are distributed throughout the U.S. and in more than 100 countries. Bruce Foods is known for its famous "Original" Louisiana brand hot pepper sauce, Cajun Injector Injectable Marinades, Bruce's Yams and Casa Fiesta Mexican food items.