Dorada Foods, Inc. of Oklahoma City will occupy the former 180,000 square foot Tyson Foods facility in Ponca City. The plant, which is scheduled to become operational in mid-2011, will provide chicken products to McDonald’s restaurants and is expected to employ approximately 350 employees, five days per week, 24 hours a day.
The agreement represents a multiparty deal which, in addition to Lopez and Tyson, also involves the Ponca City Development Authority, (PCDA) the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and McDonalds Foods, the customer for the product.
Dorada Foods is a joint venture between the principals of Lopez Foods, Inc. (LFI) of Oklahoma City, OK, the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned meat manufacturing company, and Tyson Foods, Inc. of Springdale, Arkansas, one of the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork products.
"We are proud to become members of the Ponca City business community and look forward to becoming a model of corporate citizenship," says Dorada Foods Chairman and CEO Ed Sanchez. "With an anticipated economic impact of several million dollars in payroll alone, we will make a major economic contribution to the region where our employees will live, work and play. We want our workforce to be proud to call Dorada Foods their employer."
"This innovative venture will enable us to expand Tyson’s involvement in providing a reliable supply of safe, consistent quality chicken that meets McDonald’s high standards," says Donnie Smith, President and Chief Executive officer of Tyson. "We look forward to supporting Dorada Foods’ production of great food for a very important customer."
An economic impact model developed by the Ponca City Development Authority, (PCDA) forecasts that the Dorada Foods plant will contribute $217 million to the Ponca City community over the next ten years.
Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce Natalie Shirley says, "We are excited Dorada Foods chose to locate in Ponca City. Oklahoma has one of the most progressive business climates in the nation, but also a rich history of successful new companies. Dorada will create valuable employment opportunities for the region and, in return, the company will benefit from the area’s skilled workforce."
The announcement was welcome news for Ponca City Mayor Homer Nicholson. "We’re absolutely delighted with the results of this long process. No one wanted Tyson to close last year and the fact that they will continue though this joint venture shows the confidence they have in our community. I’m particularly pleased that Dorada Foods selected Ponca City for this operation. Their leadership has a tremendous reputation within McDonalds and in Oklahoma City. They will be an excellent addition to our community and an attractive employer for our citizens."
"Projects of this magnitude provide not only significant employment opportunities, they also reach deep within a community," says PCDA Executive Director David Myers, referring to the 350 jobs projected for the project. "This is an extremely important project for Ponca City and we could not have asked for a better result," he added.
The Dorada Foods principals also operate Lopez Foods, which specializes in high quality, further processed protein products such as fully cooked beef patties, breakfast sausage, and chicken, individually quick frozen (IQF) beef patties and a variety of other pork, beef and chicken products. LFI products are available to consumers through a number of renowned customers, including: Burger King, Costco, Kroger’s, McDonald’s, Sam’s Club, Sonic, Target, and Walmart Stores. It operates an 185,000 square foot processing facility in Oklahoma City with a workforce of 500 and is also the parent company of Campos Foods Inc., with an 85,000 square foot facility in Caryville, TN, that employs 200 associates.