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American Foods Group Encounters Opposition To New Plant


The American Foods Group proposes erecting a 500,000 square foot beef plant near Foristell,  in Warren County, MO., after an extensive search for a suitable site.  Local residents are opposing the County decision to grant a conditional-use permit and an appeal will be heard in late May.



Stated concerns include potential environmental contamination and traffic. This Not In My Back Yard response has become a standard obstruction to any location of a large and by definition, efficient, processing plant.  Underlying the expressed objections is the deep-seated concern for any change in the ethnic demographic of a town, following location of a large plant.  The proposed Forisdell facility will create 1,300 jobs with an influx of workers who will obviously change the character of the town.



Developers of projects must assure residents that the plant will not create problems due to disposal of effluent and other waste, will not alter the water table to the detriment of domestic wells and that road infrastructure will allow operation of the plant without creating inconvenience for residents. 


The issues of demographics and hence perceived property values are far more difficult to address than utilities and services. Plans for a development should include appropriate housing, schools and health facilities for workers to avoid overburdening existing resources.  Obtaining permits for new projects involves more than simply complying with existing state and county regulations and encouraging support from elected local officials and state regulators.  Both Costco/Lincoln Premium Poultry and Sanderson Farms were forced to relocate projects after opposition by residents forced denials for permits.  Effectively, the underlying sentiment and unspoken concerns are more prejudicial to approval of projects than the civil engineering and environmental aspects.