Premium Peanut, an innovative, grower-owned peanut shelling company, plans to establish operations in Orangeburg County, SC. The $64.3 million investment will create 130 new jobs.
“Premium Peanut is proud of the value we have been able to create for over 400 grower-owners, in addition to providing quality products to customers around the world,” said Premium Peanut CEO Karl Zimmer. “We are thrilled to expand our operations and establish our footprint in South Carolina.”
Founded in 2014, Premium Peanut operates one of the newest and largest peanut shelling facilities in the world. The Georgia-based company began shelling peanuts in January 2016, with about 140,000 tons in shelling capacity. Through investments, efficiencies and growth, the company now has a plant capacity of 300,000 tons, which is about 10% of the U.S. peanut crop. Premium Peanut has made additional investments in cutting-edge technologies and enhancements, and added an oil mill, which was opened in 2018.
“Today’s announcement by Premium Peanut is a huge win for our state’s agribusiness sector,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “We congratulate this great company on their investment that will create 130 new jobs for our citizens, and we look forward to supporting them every step of the way.”
Premium Peanut’s new facility will provide more capacity and allow South Carolina peanut growers the opportunity to be a part of a cooperative model. This facility will build on the company’s existing model, creating maximum value of every peanut for its grower-owners. Premium Peanut’s customers consist of the major snack, candy and peanut butter manufacturers domestically, as well as customers in more than 30 countries around the world. Portions of the new facility are expected to be operational by spring 2022.
“In addition to creating jobs, Premium Peanut’s new processing facility represents a dynamic value-added opportunity for South Carolina farmers,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “We’re thrilled at the chance to expand peanut production in the state and welcome Premium Peanut’s investment in our future.”
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to this project.
“We welcome Premium Peanut to the South Carolina business community,” said South Carolina Department of Commerce Secretary Harry M. Lightsey III. “This well-known company will make a significant impact in the Palmetto State, and we look forward to watching them lay roots and grow within our borders.”
“SC Ports celebrates the announcement of Premium Peanut’s processing facility in Orangeburg County,” said SC Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome. “This investment provides new opportunities for South Carolina peanut producers to access international markets through the Port of Charleston. SC Ports is proud to connect South Carolina farmers to the global marketplace and further support agriculture export growth in the Southeast with our efficient operations.”
“We are delighted that Premium Peanut has decided to sow new roots in a historic agricultural powerhouse like Orangeburg County,” said Central SC Alliance Chairman W. Keller Kissam. “The company’s investment is an exciting opportunity for it to grow its fruitful shelling operation, and it provides our local workforce the prospect of being part of something that’s fresh for the community and at the top of its game in its industry.”
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