Sara Lee invests in robotic meat slicing facilty

American food giant Sara Lee has announced the opening of its state-of-the-art meat slicing facility in Kansas City, which represents an investment of $140million in its meat business.

The facility uses robotic engineering systems to allow hands-off processing from the initial raw meat phase right through to the finished product. The processing time is reduced by 50% and requires only half the number of employees as conventional processors. It will produce sliced deli meat for the the Hillshire Farm and Sara Lee deli brands.

CJ Fraleigh, chief executive officer of Sara Lee North America, said: “This investment underlines our commitment to our core protein category and provides us with the ability to deliver to our customers and consumers the safest, highest-quality, most cost-effective product possible.”

Sara Lee strengthened its meat business last month when it bought the Californian-based Aidells Sausage Company. In February this year, it announced it was hiving off its North American retail and foodservice activities, including its meat business, into a new company after reports emerged that Brazilian meat processor JBS was considering a buy-out of the firm.

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