Memphis, Tenn. (Friday, April 14, 2023) – Richardson International, a global leader in agriculture and food processing, plans to invest $220 million to upgrade and modernize its Wesson Oil plant in Midtown Memphis and continue employing more than 100 employees pending approval of local programs.

This multi-phase project will replace the existing refinery at 1351 Williams Ave., Memphis, TN 38104 with a new, state-of-the-art refinery plant, furthering Richardson’s ability to fulfill customer requirements and a growing global demand for vegetable oil. When completed, the new refinery will modernize the site and significantly increase production and refining capacity. Improved efficiencies will also drive substantial reductions in water, energy, and wastewater volumes, aligning well with Richardson’s focus on responsible and sustainable business operations.

“We are proud of our long legacy of investing in and supporting communities like Memphis,” said Darrell Sobkow, Executive Vice President, Richardson International. “Pending approval of local programs, we look forward to growing our business in Memphis and are committed to the plant, our employees, and maintaining our presence in manufacturing and distribution in the U.S.”

Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Richardson — Canada’s largest agribusiness with more than 3,000 employees worldwide — expanded into Memphis in 2019 with the purchase of Wesson Oil.

Thanks in part to its status as a global logistics leader, Greater Memphis is one of the nation’s most concentrated hubs of advanced manufacturing companies, which use innovative technologies to create products. According to the 2022 Advanced Manufacturing Report from the Chamber’s Greater Memphis Economic Research Group, or GMERG (pronounced “G-Merge”), the region was home to 1,108 advanced manufacturers employing 43,356 people in 2022. The industry is also growing: the gross domestic product of advanced manufacturers grew by 18.4% to $12 billion annually from 2019-2022.

“Manufacturers increasingly demand reliable supply chains, technological integration, and diverse talent, all of which Memphis excels in,” said Greater Memphis Chamber President & CEO Ted Townsend. “Richardson International is an internationally recognized and respected company, and we are thrilled to help them announce this significant investment in Memphis and our broader Digital Delta region.”

Powered by Memphis, the Digital Delta is an eight-county, tristate region dedicated to the technology-driven development of advanced companies, diverse human capital, and future-ready infrastructure to create a smarter, more connected, and more sustainable economy for all.

In addition to the Chamber, the Richardson worked with the following economic development partners: the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis & Shelby County (EDGE); the Tennessee Valley Authority; Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW); the City of Memphis; and Shelby County. The project is within the districts of Memphis City Council Chairman Martavius Jones and members Edmund Ford Sr., JB Smiley Jr., and Cheyenne Johnson, and of Shelby County Commissioner Mickell Lowery.

So far this year, including Richardson, the region’s economic development partners have worked on projects that represent more than $226 million in investments.

Workforce Mid-South will also work with the company to fulfil its current and future workforce needs. To apply for a Memphis job opening with Richardson, click here.

Additional Quotes

  • Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland: “It’s great when new companies locate here from another community, but it’s equally as important to help grow and expand companies with a current presence in Memphis. During my time as Mayor, we have worked extremely hard to be a government that operates at the speed of business to foster a business friendly environment. I am excited for Richardson’s growth and could not be happier that they decided to keep doing it here.”
  • Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris: “When a company decides to expand operations and add jobs in Shelby County, it is a testament to the hardworking employees, friendly economic landscape, and welcoming community.”
  • Al Bright, Board Chair, Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County (EDGE): “EDGE’s economic incentives continue to be the tipping point for companies considering expansion. When Richardson contacted us about this possible growth opportunity, EDGE was eager to offer our assistance in making this important investment possible, securing quality jobs for over 100 employees and a commitment by the company to support minority and women business enterprises.”
  • John Bradley, senior vice president of Economic Development for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA): “TVA and Memphis Light Gas and Water congratulate Richardson on its decision to expand operations in Memphis. It’s always an exciting day when we can celebrate a company’s commitment to continued growth in the region. We are proud to partner with the Greater Memphis Chamber and EDGE to support companies like Richardson and look forward to its continued success.”

For more information, contact:

Kelcey Vossen
Communications and Public Relations
Richardson International

Ryan Poe
Director of Communications
Greater Memphis Chamber


About Richardson International: Since 1857, Richardson International Limited has been recognized as a global leader in agriculture and food processing. Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the company is a worldwide handler and merchandiser of all major Canadian-grown grains and oilseeds and a vertically-integrated processor and manufacturer of oats and canola-based products. Over the past two decades, Richardson has become a significant player in the global food business, producing a wide variety of food products and ingredients for the retail, food service, and industrial markets. Richardson continues to grow, thanks to the dedication and innovative spirit of over 3,000 employees worldwide.

About Wesson Oil: Wesson Oil is America’s best-selling cooking oil brand. First established in 1899, Wesson’s Made in Memphis story began almost three decades later, in 1936, when the brand moved its manufacturing operations to the city it continues to call home today. Wesson has been a staple in kitchens for generations and is the go-to ingredient for home cooks and professional chefs around the world. Wesson is owned by Richardson International. Learn more about the brand by visiting

About the Greater Memphis Chamber: One of Memphis’ oldest institutions, dating back to 1838, the Greater Memphis Chamber is a privately funded nonprofit that serves as the region’s lead economic development organization and the “Voice of Memphis Business” on local, state, and national issues. The Chamber’s mission is to relentlessly pursue prosperity for all — through economic and workforce development, pro-growth advocacy, and by providing support and resources to its investors, which include many of the region’s largest employers. For more information about the Chamber, visit and Also, follow the Chamber on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, and sign up for its weekly newsletter, Memphis Fourword.