NutraCea, a world leader in stabilized rice bran (SRB), nutrient research and technology announced today that the company's Phoenix Facility is in the final stages of testing equipment and training personnel and has begun cereal production and new customer sampling.
As indicated in the 3rd quarter conference call, the Dillon plant was running at approximately 30% capacity due to the installation of equipment needed to satisfy safety and product quality in domestic and international baby cereal customers. Dillon is now operating in excess of 90% capacity.
Currently the Phoenix facility capacity is 2,700 tons and the company expects capacity to exceed 5,000 tons by the end of the second quarter 2009. Future expansion plans for early 2010 will bring capacity of this plant to 7000 tons.
"We adjusted the ramp up at the Phoenix facility in order to ensure that all phases of production are running smoothly and to further guarantee the consistency and quality of our baby cereal and stage 2 products," said Leo Gingras, Chief Operating Officer of NutraCea. "Production is running smoothly and meeting our high quality standards so over the next few months we will be phasing in customers, while bringing on additional capacity."
Gingras added, "Bringing a baby cereal plant to full capacity while maintaining safety and ensuring product quality and consistency takes enormous effort. We planned the Phoenix plant to be capable of operating at capacity in the second quarter."
Kody Newland, Senior Vice President of Sales for NutraCea, commented, "Now that the plant is operational, we are now aggressively seeking new customers and discussing projects with customers who've been waiting for this plant to open. It's important to note that baby cereal is one of the most scrutinized products in the world and the process of bringing on new customers for our facility typically follows an involved process that includes product sample runs and onsite inspections. This is a beautiful and state of the art facility and will play an important role in NutraCea's future in the baby cereal market."
NutraCea is a world leader in production and utilization of stabilized rice bran. They hold many patents for stabilized rice bran production technology and proprietary neutraceutical formulas ranging from arthritis, chronic bowel conditions, and effective diabetes control to cardiovascular disease treatment protocols. NutraCea's proprietary technology enables the creation of food and nutrition products to be unlocked from rice bran, normally a waste by-product of standard rice processing. Committed to helping the under fed, they're heavily involved in providing product and technology for developing countries through NutraCea's RiceAde feeding program. More information can be found in the Company's filings with the SEC and you can visit the NutraCea web site http://www.NutraCea.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements regarding future expansion plans for the Phoenix facility, anticipated phasing in of new customers and additional production capacity at the Phoenix facility, and the anticipated benefit of the facility with regard to NutraCea's future business in the baby cereal market. These statements are made based upon current expectations and actual results may differ from those projected, due to various risks and uncertainties. The Company does not undertake to update forward-looking statements in this news release to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting such forward-looking information. Assumptions and other information that could cause results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking information can be found in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's most recent periodic reports.