South African Co. Opens Manufacturing Facility in St. Joseph


Officials from a South African company celebrated the opening of its first U.S. manufacturing facility on Tuesday. MBFi (Microbial Biological Fertilizers International) was founded in 2003 and specializes in manufacturing bio-stimulants and biological products. It’s a family-owned business that is committed to supplying the best quality products with professional advice from its diverse pool of staff knowledge and expertise.

MBFi products help increase yields through biological protection, said Tyson Vorderstrasse, Fermentation Operations Manager and a St. Joseph native who helped bring the company here.

“We’re producing a beneficial product here in the Midwest, generally that is where most of this product will be used,” he said. “We thought St. Joe, in the Midwest, was the best suitable place because of the technology, the workforce and the general relation to the relevant areas.”

In St. Joseph, the company is located at 4006 S. 40th St., the former Western Robidoux facility. The company estimates a total capital investment of $6.5 million in the facility and 14 new jobs with an approximate average annual wage of $71,000.

MBFi joins a long list of companies that work in the agriculture and manufacturing industries in St. Joseph and we’re excited to welcome then to the community, Mayor John Josendale said at the ceremony. St. Joseph remains the third largest exporter in the state, only trailing St. Louis and Kansas City, and that’s largely because of agricultural exports