CARTHAGE, Mo. — Schreiber Foods, which already has a large presence in the Four-State Area, could soon grow even bigger.

The Wisconsin-based company that provides cheese, yogurt and other dairy products is exploring options to expand its distribution operation in Carthage because of increasing production, a company spokesperson confirmed last week.

The Carthage Planning, Zoning and Historic Preservation Commission will recommend to the Carthage City Council that it approve annexation and rezoning of 107 acres for Schreiber at Tuesday's council meeting. The commission voted Thursday to approve two requests by Schreiber to annex and rezone three parcels of land west of Hazel Avenue and north of George E. Phelps Boulevard, just outside the city limits of Carthage.

According to a redevelopment application filed with the city, Schreiber wants to use the vacant land for a 420,000-square-foot distribution and cold storage operation with 200 trailer parking spaces and 30 car parking spaces. The project will also have the possibility of future expansion, according to the application.

Andrew Tobisch, director of communications for Schreiber, said Friday that because the project is still in preliminary stages, he couldn't disclose how much the company is investing.

“We need more opportunities to distribute our product,” he said. “Right now, we’re looking into options to increase our distribution space. There’s nothing final and nothing has been decided on, but we do need to find an answer to this growing volume that we have.”

Schreiber Foods also has two production operations in Carthage, where it employs approximately 1,000 people, Tobisch said.

“We provide food to many different customers, and we do it around the world,” Tobisch said. “We have quite a bit of a presence in Southwest Missouri ... Monett, Mount Vernon and Carthage. We’ve had a presence in Carthage since 1950.”

Schreiber also has a business office in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Mark Elliff, president of the Carthage Chamber of Commerce, said the proposal has been in the works off and on for over five years and that it’s expected it could provide up to 23 jobs in the beginning.

“It’s a boom for the Carthage community and also for the region, as well,” said Elliff, who oversees economic development for the city. “The multiplier effect just from those 23 jobs creates into something so much more and in turn, that creates additional sales tax for the city. It also increases property tax.

“It’s a win for Schreiber. It’s a win for Carthage. It’s a win for the region,” Elliff said. “Anytime a business wants to expand or come into the community, we all benefit from it. That’s what's good about the area here in Southwest Missouri — when we have growth of employment and growth of jobs, it helps all of us."

News reporter

Kimberly Barker is a news reporter for The Globe who covers Northeast Oklahoma, Southeast Kansas, as well as Carl Junction and Webb City.

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