Genesee County named one of top areas in nation for food processing growth
Submitted by Howard B. Owens on August 7, 2012 - 9:45pm
For the third year in a row Genesee County has been recognized in the top five of the rankings in the Metro Food Processing Industry Growth category by "Business Facilities" a national site selection publication.
The agriculture industry in Genesee County employs more than 1,500 workers, a number that will dramatically increase with the opening of Alpina Foods, LLC, and PepsiCo/Muller yogurt manufacturing facilities.
“The construction of two major new food processing facilities by Alpina and the joint venture between PepsiCo and Theo Müller demonstrates a significant return on our investment in our Agri-Business Park which we believe is driving our high national ranking,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC). “We are honored to be once again recognized by 'Business Facilities' as it keeps us on the radar screen for site selectors throughout the United States and the world.”
The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park encompasses 202 shovel-ready, pre-permitted acres strategically located between Western New York and the Finger Lakes Region. On site there is access to low-cost process water via a local aquifer that produces more than six million gallons per day and a pretreatment facility as well as rail access.
Through the support of National Grid and National Fuel, the site has an enhanced utility infrastructure. The agri-park was originally a public-private partnership between GCEDC and Farm Credit East.
“The Agri-Business Park in Genesee County is perfectly tailored to fill a niche in our region created by our productive agricultural sector,” said Mary Pat Hancock, chair, Genesee County Legislature. “It makes perfect sense to have those who process food to have their facilities as near as possible to where the food is produced.
"It makes for a better, safer, and tastier product and is also more efficient. Our resources lend themselves to food processing and our location is ideal for quick market access. We look forward to continued success and expansion.”
Alpina Foods LLC, one of the most recognized dairy companies in the world and a leading dairy producing company in Colombia and South America, has decided to open its first specialty yogurt manufacturing plant in the United States at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.
PepsiCo, in a joint venture with German dairy company Theo Müller, also broke ground earlier this year on a $206 million yogurt manufacturing facility at the park. Other food processing facilities in Genesee County include O-AT-KA Milk, Yancey’s Fancy and Allan’s Canning.
“The significant dairy supply, abundance of fresh water, and talented workforce are just some of the assets that attract food manufacturers such as PepsiCo, Theo Müller and Alpina foods to Western New York,” said Mark S. Peterson, president and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise. “It’s no wonder that more than 100 food manufacturers have operations here.”
“Genesee County’s strategic location and agricultural assets make it a prime location destination for the food processing industry,” said Thomas A. Kucharski, president and CEO of Buffalo Niagara Enterprise.
“The vision Genesee County officials have shown in developing shovel-ready sites like the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park has distinguished them among peer communities and allowed us to succeed in attracting global investment and job creation like Alpina, Mueller and more."