Beech-Nut Opens Facility

June 9/Florida, N.Y./Food & Beverage Close-Up -- Baby food producer Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp. recently hosted a grand opening ceremony at its new 650,000-square-foot infant food production facility in the Town of Florida, N.Y., in Montgomery County.

The company said the facility represents a $124 million investment in Montgomery County, including significant financial support by New York state and marks another milestone in Beech-Nut's 119-year history of processing food in upstate New York. Beech-Nut also has filed an application to attain LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Certification, which would make it the first infant food production facility in the world and one of a few food processors in the U.S. to receive such a designation.

"Our new facility and our impending LEED-Certification puts Beech-Nut in a great position to grow our company and our brand," said Jim Schneider, president and CEO, Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp. "It not only enhances our mission of providing the most nutritional baby food products in the marketplace, but just as important reinforces our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint."

U.S. senator Charles Schumer, U.S. congressman Paul Tonko and New York state assembly apeaker Sheldon Silver, as well as a number of other state and local government and community officials, attended the grand opening event.

"For more than a decade I have been working to keep Beech-Nut in Montgomery County," said Schumer. "We saved it when Heinz wanted to move it to Pittsburgh and again when the USDA threatened to disrupt the production line, and after the devastating flood of 2006 we wondered if our luck had run out. But today, as we open this beautiful new facility, we know that Hero will be keeping Beech-Nut right here in the Mohawk Valley long into the future.."

The new facility, located in the Florida Industrial Park, will employ approximately 500 associates, including 135 positions as a result of the relocation of Beech-Nut's headquarters from St. Louis. The facility also will become home to Hero's North America operations and replaces Beech-Nut's existing plants in Canajoharie and Fort Plain, N.Y.

From the June 10, 2010, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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