Greenleaf Foods, a manufacturer of plant-based burgers, sausages, hot dogs and other vegetarian meat alternatives, plans to build a $310 million production facility in Shelbyville that will employ 460 people when the plant is fully operational in 2021, the company announced Monday.

The plant, to be constructed on a 57-acre site near the intersection of Interstate 74 and State Road 44, will occupy 230,000 square feet and is expected to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Greenleaf said the plant will be the largest plant-based protein facility in North America, producing 60 million pounds of products annually.

The Shelbyville plant will double Greenleaf’s production capacity. Based in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst, Illinois, Greenleaf currently has 370 employees and two manufacturing facilities—one in Turners Falls, Massachusetts and one in Seattle.

Greenleaf was founded last year as an independent subsidiary to oversee the Lightlife and Field Roast brands, which the company says are the top two brands in the refrigerated alternative protein category. 

The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ontario-based Maple Leaf Foods.

Greenleaf said the North American plant-based protein market had estimated sales of $1 billion in 2018 and is growing quickly.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Secretary of Commerce Jim Schellinger and Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun are expected to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the plant Monday afternoon. The company is expected to receive state and local incentives.

“I am thrilled that Shelby County was chosen for this project," DeBaun said in written comments. "It’s further validation that the administrations of the City of Shelbyville and Shelby County are working collaboratively to make this a great place to do business. This project diversifies our employment options locally and regionally as well as bringing tremendous opportunities to our community.”

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