Campbell Soup has been part of Paris Texas for over fifty years, first opening their plant in 1964. In order to get some insight about Campbell Soup’s experience today, we interviewed Brett Dunson, Senior Director of Operations at Campbell Soup.
Mr. Dunson has worked with Campbell Soup for 11 years. Most recently, he was the Beverage Plant Leader in Napoleon, Ohio. Dunson has been in Paris for a little over a year now. Dunson, discussing his choice to work at the Paris facility, states “For me personally, it was a great opportunity. The plant has done some great things in the last few years, and I’m glad to be part of the team here. It’s a good match for my skills and experience, and for my development to be here.”
Dunson also spoke about his experiences working for Campbell Soup. As a company, Campbell Soup’s business practices and work with the community are important: “Campbell Soup has given me the opportunity to provide the lifestyle I want to lead for my family, and there’s also a lot of growth and opportunity to provide working with them. The values of the company and what they stand for match my value system. I’ve worked with some great people here and learned a lot from them. It’s a rewarding experience. I am proud to tell people I work at Campbell Soup.”
While Campbell Soup has been in Paris for a long time, not everyone knows the extent of the products made in the Paris factory. Paris is the third largest Campbell Soup facility of its kind, and makes a wide range of products. Dunson explains, “We have the most diversified portfolio in the network. We make the iconic soup brands, Ready-to-Eat products, single-serve and multi-serve juices, as well as Pace and Prego sauces.” As Dunson confirms, there are over 800 employees currently working at the Campbell Soup facility in Paris. The factory is not only an important part of Campbell Soup as a whole, but also an important part of the community here.
“Campbell Soup has been part of this community for almost 55 years. It has been a large part of this community. A very large portion of the company’s sauces are made here, and there are many other things that keep us anchored in the region” said Dunson. The food industry has had to adapt to changing tastes and the different ways people choose to consume their daily meals, but Dunson is confident that Campbell’s and Paris will meet these challenges head-on: “The food industry has been a challenging environment with customers demanding more from its suppliers and consumers making different choices. Campbell’s has recognized the shifts in the marketplace and adapted the company’s strategies to be flexible and think outside the can.” Two strengths of this facility are its flexibility and capability to produce a diversity of products.
One important factor in the success of the facility has been the success of the Paris Economic Development Corporation (PEDC) and the City of Paris: “The agency (PEDC) has been helpful in terms of providing incentives to actively track and land some businesses and connect Campbell’s with community and other local business leaders. Just in the last couple of years, there are two examples I can think of, and those are our Ready-to-Eat business and our Single-Serve business. The PEDC was helpful in securing that. The city has always been helpful. Back in the 1960’s, during the initial expansion they built the lake (Lake Crook) to support our production needs.” The PEDC and the City of Paris has also supported Paris Junior College, which Dunson cites as another important factor in Campbell Soup’s success in Paris: “Partnering with the Junior College is a way that we can continue developing and building the skills of not only our current employees, but of our future ones as well.” The State of Texas has also been helpful for Campbell Soup, through the various grants and workforce development programs offered here. The availability of good infrastructure here in Paris has been an important factor: “From our standpoint, being able to get the utilities and resources we need has been important. Some places you can’t get land, you can’t get utilities.
Aside from the relationships between Campbell Soup and local government agencies, one of the things that Dunson noted about Paris is the recreational opportunities present here. “When I arrived in the Paris area, I was impressed with the amount of activity going on in the region. Every weekend there were cultural events being sponsored by someone in the city. That struck me. It’s a smaller community, but it’s got a lot of character.”
For more information about Campbell Soup and other business in Paris, call (903) 784-6964 or visit paristexasusa.com.