AFB International will invest more than $79 million in a new facility in Columbus, GA. The Missouri-based pet food ingredient manufacturer expects to create more than 100 new jobs in the next five years.
“AFB is excited to become part of the Columbus community,” said AFB International President Jared Lozo. “We are proud of the work we’ve done since 1986 to make pet food taste great, and pleased to continue our growth with the talented workforce in the Columbus region. For AFB, this plant is key to fulfilling our commitment to be the most responsive and reliable supplier of pet food palatant solutions in the world.”
AFB develops, manufactures, and sells palatant ingredients to pet food companies worldwide. Palatants are ingredients that make pet foods, treats, and supplements taste great.
“Since taking office, I have been laser-focused on bringing opportunities to every corner of our state, and I am excited that a great company like AFB is answering that call and investing in the Columbus community,” said Governor Brian P. Kemp. “Near Fort Benning, AFB will find a highly capable workforce ready to meet their needs. I look forward to seeing this project’s impact, including its impact on the many military and veteran residents who could fill these quality positions.”
AFB’s new facility will be located at the Muscogee Technology Park, a Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) Certified site in Muscogee County. Operations are expected to begin in 2024. The company will be hiring for management, engineering, operations, and administrative support positions.
In order to earn a GRAD program certification, a property must undergo due diligence and complete specific certification requirements before a prospective business visit. Through this program, Georgia has more than 60 industrial certified sites ready for fast-track industrial projects.
“As a global science and technology leader, AFB will be a great partner for our community,” said Heath Schondelmayer, Chairman of the Development Authority of Columbus. “We are extremely excited about this announcement today because growing Columbus and creating jobs for this community is our top priority. Our local economic development team and our State of Georgia partners came together to turn this opportunity into a win, and we’re confident that our top-notch quality of life and talented workforce will ultimately set up AFB to achieve business success for many years to come.”
Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) Global Commerce team worked to attract the project in partnership with the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Power, and Georgia Quick Start. Through the Technical College System of Georgia, Quick Start helps assess workers, train new employees on unique processes on projects, and develop customized job-specific training using the most current techniques and media.
“AFB perfectly aligns with Georgia’s spirit of collaboration and innovation, and we are excited for the jobs and opportunities their new facility will create for local communities,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Urgency of customer demand has been a key challenge for many companies in the last year. We are grateful for our partners in Columbus for investing in speed-to-market solutions like the GRAD program, and we look forward to AFB’s future success in Georgia!”