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Volume 32, Issue 3

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Thursday, 22 November 2007 03:32

Insurance Coverage Alone Does Not Guarantee Complete Protection

Written by  Michael Childress

In early July of 2001, George Richter, president of leading U.S. meat producer, Farmland Foods Inc., was in the midst of leading his company in the expansion and renovation of its 650,000 square-foot processing facility in Albert Lea, Minn. Company progress at the time was very strong and the upgrade of the massive plant was expected to propel Farmland toward even greater growth. The facility, built in 1912, served as a production center for bacon and ham – two products that accounted for 62 percent of Farmland’s annual revenue. Under Richter’s guidance, it would soon replace the company’s Carroll, Iowa, plant and become Farmland’s headquarters for the two products, producing more than five million pounds of meat each week. On July 8, 2001, however, with the expansion project 50 percent completed, Richter received the devastating news that a fire, inadvertently ignited by one of the contractors working on the expansion project,