Hormel sells Fremont plant — one of only 2 in U.S. that makes Spam — to group of hog farmers

August 17, 2018

Hormel Foods on Thursday announced plans to sell its facility in Fremont.

The buyer is WholeStone Farms LLC, a company recently formed by more than 200 hog farmers in Minnesota and South Dakota.

Hormel’s Fremont plant, which it has owned since the 1940s, is one of only two in the country that makes its well-known Spam canned ham product. The plant also makes bacon, lunch meat and other products.

At last count, it employed about 1,500 people, making it Fremont’s largest employer by far.

“The Fremont facility has been an important part of our company for decades, and we are certainly pleased to have found a home for this team and facility with WholeStone Farms,” Hormel CEO Jim Snee said in a news release. “The strategic decision to transition the Fremont facility to WholeStone Farms reflects the long-term, changing dynamics in the pork industry, and most importantly, is aligned with our vision as a global branded food company.”

Hormel officials said in the news release that they have a multi-year supply agreement in place with WholeStone Farms that, “ensures the Fremont facility will continue as an integral part of our supply chain in the future.”

Luke Minion, Cchairman of the board of directors of WholeStone Farms, said in a news release that the company is “committed to significant additional investments” in the Fremont plant. The company also said that the current plant management team and workforce will remain in place.

The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, is expected to close by the end of the year.

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