Freshpet, Inc. will expand its pet food production operations at its current location in Hanover Township, PA. The producer of fresh dog and cat food will create 100 new full-time jobs in the next three years with the expansion project.
“The rapid growth of the Freshpet brand behind requires us to bring online additional capacity by mid-to-late 2020 to support our continued growth and enable us to serve more pets,” said Billy Cyr, CEO of Freshpet. “It also allows us to provide more career opportunities for the dedicated and talented employees who have helped deliver the success we have had so far. We are very excited to have the opportunity to further advance our manufacturing expertise and expand our Freshpet Kitchens campus in Pennsylvania with the support of our local and state governments.”
Freshpet currently manufactures in a 100,000-square-foot facility on 14.2 acres in Hanover Township. To accommodate projected growth, the company will complete renovations, construct an addition and purchase new equipment. The company has committed to investing more than $84 million in the project, which will create 100 new full-time jobs in the next three years and retain a further 200 jobs. Further job growth is expected once the facility is running at full capacity.
Freshpet expects the expansion to increase the purchase of locally produced ingredients by approximately two-thirds and support additional jobs at local third-party warehousing and logistics providers. The facility will also include R&D space and a pilot plant facility to enable test runs of new products.
“Freshpet’s growth has been a significant contributor to the Lehigh Valley economy, and we’re excited that Freshpet has chosen Pennsylvania for its expansion so we can continue to be a part of its ongoing growth,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “The 100 high-quality manufacturing jobs this project will create is great news for Northampton County workers and their families. Additionally, Freshpet’s focus on buying its ingredients locally means this expansion is good for Pennsylvania’s farmers and food ingredient processors as well.”
Freshpet received a funding proposal from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for a $500,000 Pennsylvania First grant and $300,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs. Additionally, the project will receive support from the Manufacturing Tax Credit program as well as the Workforce Development Board and PA CareerLink. The Northampton County Industrial Development Authority, which is administered by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), has offered Freshpet up to $100,000 as part of its Job Creation Grant program, which is funded through gaming host fee proceeds.
“Freshpet is a growing national company that makes its innovate pet food products right here in the Lehigh Valley,” said Don Cunningham, president and CEO of the LVEDC. “We are pleased the company is expanding its manufacturing capacity here, and are grateful to the state and Northampton County leaders for working to make that possible. Manufacturing continues to be the second biggest part of the Lehigh Valley’s economy.”
“Freshpet is an important part of the growing manufacturing landscape of Northampton County,” said Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure. “The job creation grant program is intended to give a boost to help retain and attract good manufacturing jobs in the county. We are grateful that Freshpet has chosen to stay and grow here and that we could help to make that happen.”
Freshpet, founded in 2006, is a manufacturer of refrigerated food and treats for dogs and cats using natural ingredients. Freshpet began manufacturing operations in Quakertown, Montgomery County in 2006 and moved into its current Hanover Township facility in 2013. In 2015, it broke ground on an expansion that doubled its capacity at its Hanover Township facility. The following year, the company also opened a new research and development center in the township.
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