A central Iowa company which has become a worldwide supplier of products for food and animal feed celebrated the grand opening of its new headquarters Tuesday.
Kemin Industries was started in 1961 by R.W. and Mary Nelson in Des Moines. Spokesperson Lauren Burt says the grand opening wraps up five years of work on the new facility.
“The headquarters is 94,000 square feet and overall it was $125 million investment,” Burt says. “And that includes our research facilities, the office where our employees work, a fitness facility, a cafe — so its all-encompassing for the headquarters.” Burt says they are happy to have the headquarters completed.
“What is most exciting is that Kemin continues to grow. We built this headquarters and moved in with 25 percent of available office space for growth. And we are already starting use that available space, so we are very primed and ready to fill the headquarters and have more space as well,” according to Burt.
The company provides 500 specialty ingredients. “We are in the animal feed industry, we are in the pet food industry and also human nutrition. So, really everything from feed for poultry, dog food and vitamins and supplements for humans,” Burt explains. “And along with humans we do a lot of food technology. So we create lutein that benefits eye health. We do a lot when it comes to meat poultry and eggs.” She says the use organic materials to create their ingredients.
“It’s not a chemical company — which many people think. We use four botanicals for a lot of our ingredients….marigolds, spearmint, oregano and then also potatoes,” Burt says. She says the founders were one of the first exporters of products from Iowa and that demand has continued to grow.
“Today Kemin reaches 3.6 billion people every day because everybody eats, Burt says. “a lot of people have pets. The world had to create food to feed a growing population and Kemin is in so many of those different industries and ingredients.”
There are 600 employees in the world headquarters in Des Moines and around 2,000 employees across the company. It has manufacturing facilities in Belgium, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and the United States.