Rappahannock River Oyster Co., Middlesex County
Babylon Micro-Farms, Richmond
Sabra Dipping Company, Chesterfield County
Food & Beverage Processing Virginia Diner, Sussex County
More than 150 food and beverage processing companies chose to locate or expand in Virginia over the last decade. They were attracted to Virginia by its unique combination of advantages and resources for food and beverage processing.
V Sabra Dipping Company, Chesterfield County • I Stone Brewing Co., Richmond • R Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA, Suffolk • G The Gatorade Company, Wythe County • I Unilever, Suffolk • N A. Smith Bowman Distillery, Spotsylvania County • I Mondelez International, Henrico County • A Planters Peanut Center, Suffolk
Why Virginia? 1 An Optimal Location to Serve East Coast Markets
2 Advanced Logistics Infrastructure to Enable Global Connectivity
5 A Large and Diverse Food and Beverage Processing Ecosystem
13 America’s Top State for Talent
15 An Attractive, Stable, and Predictable Operating Environment
17 A Robust (and Growing) Inventory of Sites and Buildings
19 An Exceptional Quality of Life
An Optimal Location to Serve East Coast Markets Located at the center of the U.S. East Coast and within a one-day drive of 47% of the U.S. population, Virginia offers an ideal location to serve East Coast customers or to provide a single gateway to the U.S. market.
Virginia Provides Access for Acesur For more than 150 years, Acesur has produced, packaged, and marketed olive oil. The company is a leader in the national olive oil industry in Spain, exporting its products to more than 90 countries around the world. In 2020, Acesur USA established its first U.S. production facility for blending, bottling, and packaging its edible oil blends in Virginia. The Commonwealth offered the company a prime location in the City of Suffolk with direct access to The Port of Virginia, enabling the import and export of over 630 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) through the port annually.
food and beverage store sales within a one-day drive of Virginia 1
119,000+ food and beverage stores within a one-day drive of Virginia
Virginia was chosen due to its market proximity, progressive infrastructure investment, as well as The Port of Virginia’s proximity to the plant. JOSEPH FAIRCHILD Vice President of Operations and Director of Purchasing, Acesur USA LLC
Advanced Logistics Infrastructure to Enable Global Connectivity
of interstates, freeways, and expressways
densest roadway and railway networks in the Southeast are in Virginia
of railways (anchored by Class I railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern)
commercial airports with flights to 100+ domestic and 50+ international destinations
Virginia’s extensive network of well-maintained roads, railways, ports, and airports offers efficient logistics and global connectivity.
most advanced ports in the United States
66 WEST VIRGINIA
40 RDU Raleigh
221 23 ¡
The Port of Virginia 64
Virginia provides food and beverage manufacturers easy and efficient access to international markets and supply chains through world-class facilities at The Port of Virginia. By 2024, The Port of Virginia will complete $1.5 billion in modernization and expansion projects, including terminal improvements, dredging, and technology, making it the East Coast’s deepest port and one of the most advanced ports in the world.
Virginia International Gateway, Portsmouth 3
The port’s completion of USDA’s Southeast In-Transit Cold Treatment Program, allowing Virginia to accept a broad range of imported perishable cargo, and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) designation that allows exchange-graded coffee to arrive through the port, are both part of The Port of Virginia’s focus on supporting Virginia’s food and beverage industry.
The Nation’s Food Flows through The Port of Virginia
exporter of vegetables in the U.S. and the largest exporter on the East Coast
The Port of Virginia Helps Nature’s Touch Feed Consumers In 2014, Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods established a Virginia operation in Warren County with a goal to provide the highest quality frozen fruit and vegetables at a competitive price and give consumers a consistent and quality experience. Nature’s Touch imports blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, pineapples, avocados, broccoli, and nuts through The Port of Virginia, and has plans to further expand its supply chain to countries like Chile, Peru, and Ecuador.
of food and beverage goods were exported and 74K TEUs were imported through The Port of Virginia in 2019
for traditional turn time and 39 minutes for expanded turn time in 2020, significantly below the industry standard of 60 minutes
reefer plug capacity at The Port of Virginia
47 The choice of Virginia was made easy for Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods. The combination of proximity to a seaport and easy access to major highways was tough to beat.
THEO PROKOS Director, Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods
major domestic refrigerated motor carriers operate within Virginia’s market
Source: The Port of Virginia 4
A Large and Diverse Food and Beverage Processing Ecosystem With the second-largest food-and-beverage processing sector in the Southeast, the Commonwealth offers a diverse ecosystem of partners and suppliers for food and beverage processors, including dozens of packagers and bottlers, 160+ warehousing and distribution establishments (including expansive cold storage options), and 43,000 farms. Over the past 10 years, more than 150 food and beverage manufacturers have chosen to invest in Virginia, creating over 7,300 new jobs and making capital investments totaling $2.3B. The Hershey Company has announced four major expansions in Augusta County since 2016, adding over 240 jobs and $280M in capital investment. Litehouse, Inc., manufacturer of refrigerated consumer packaged goods, announced a new facility in Danville, creating 160 jobs and investing $46.2M.
Dynamic Supply Chain from Farm to Table Top existing product categories in Virginia include meat processing, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage manufacturing, bakeries, and dairy product manufacturing, while sugar and confectionery products, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage manufacturing, bakeries, and dairy product manufacturing are among the fastest-growing sectors in Virginia.
Traditional Medicinals, manufacturer of herbal tea products, announced a new facility in Franklin County, creating 56 jobs and investing nearly $30M. AeroFarms announced its largest U.S. state-of-the-art indoor vertical farm in Danville-Pittsylvania County in 2019, creating 92 jobs and investing $42M. Nestlé USA announced the relocation of its U.S. headquarters to Arlington County in 2017, creating 748 jobs and investing almost $40M.
LS IA R E AT M
1.7m+ sq. ft. of cold storage (existing or planned) within a 20-mile radius of The Port of Virginia’s Hampton Roads terminals
Major packaging and bottling establishments in the Commonwealth
Major warehousing and distribution establishments across the Commonwealth that can accommodate any type of product
These suppliers are capable of handling the full array of packaging and bottling needs, including plastic film and sheet, box, paperboard, glass, and metal can manufacturing.
RING CTU A F NU MA
PACKAGING • B OTTL ING
WA RE HO US IN G
•D IST RI BU TI O N
S ER UM NS CO
What Virginia Brings to the Table Illustrative Examples
Virginia’s food and beverage processing industry employs more than 42,000 people, accounts for over 17% of Virginia’s total manufacturing employment, and is the Commonwealth’s second-largest manufacturing sector. It is also one of the Commonwealth’s fastest-growing industries. Employment in this sector has grown by 15% over the past five years, the second-highest rate in the Southeast.
Lynchburg Region 220
New River Valley
B la ck sburg
Wyth ev ille
R oanok e
Ma r tinsv ille
Joh nson City
G ree nsboro
Northern Shenandoah Valley
Central Virginia Winch e ste r
7 L e e sburg
Wash ing ton, D . C.
66 A lexa nd ria
17 Fred e ricksburg
Greater Richmond 250
Staunton Ch a rlottesv ille
L e xing ton
R ich mond
Fa rmv ille
L ynch bur g
288 Willia msburg
P e te rsbur g
V ir g inia B each
South B oston D a nv ille
N or folk
South Central Virginia
Virginia’s Gateway Region
Key Resources for Innovative Solutions The Commonwealth’s university-based research activity encompasses a wide array of disciplines relevant to the food and beverage manufacturing sector, including agricultural sciences, natural resources and conservation, ocean and marine sciences, and industrial and manufacturing engineering.
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research: Catalyzing Economic Development in Virginia The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) engages the resources of Virginia Tech, Danville Community College, Averett University, and other partners to grow innovation and stimulate economic opportunity. IALR proudly promotes sustainable solutions for enhanced agricultural production around the globe with the Plant Endophyte Research Center and access to a live bacteria library with over 2,000 endophytes. Most recently, IALR has partnered with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech to launch a Controlled Environment
Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, 9 Danville
Agriculture Innovation Center. The Center will leverage technology and research to accelerate advancements in the developing industry of indoor farming. AeroFarms Managing Director Sam Schatz, who recently announced the establishment of the world’s largest vertical growing facility in Danville-Pittsylvania County, said, “AeroFarms is excited about the opportunities presented by the new IALR research facility. We are eager to work with IALR and Virginia Tech on future research endeavors.”
Blue Ridge Aquaculture Partners with Virginia Tech to Hook Major Markets
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – a Valuable Resource for Virginia’s Ecosystem
Blue Ridge Aquaculture established its flagship production facility in Henry County, Virginia in 1993 and has become the country’s largest producer of tilapia using indoor recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). Each year, Blue Ridge Aquaculture produces 4 million pounds of tilapia, and between 10,000-20,000 pounds of live tilapia are shipped daily.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) supports the state’s robust agricultural and forestry industries by helping producers and processors grow their business, build their brands, and locate the best markets for their products, both domestically and abroad.
Blue Ridge Aquaculture partnered with Virginia Tech to research growing white tilapia quickly without using hormones or antibiotics, on developing filters to convert ammonia from fish waste into nitrogen that can be safely released into the environment, and building a system to remove solid fish waste to be composted. In 2017, as a result of these successful research projects with Virginia Tech, Blue Ridge Aquaculture established subsidiary Blue Ridge Aquafeed to produce quality controlled, superior feed for its tilapia production.
Agriculture and Forestry Development: Provides specialized economic development assistance to support growth in Virginia’s food, forestry, and agriculture industry sectors. International Marketing: A robust marketing program that connects Virginia agricultural producers with export opportunities through a global network of trade representatives in Canada, China, Europe, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and Southeast Asia. Domestic Marketing: With a presence in every region of the state and decades of experience in the field, staff rely on their deep knowledge of the industry and long-standing relationships to assist producers. Promotions: Supports producers of specialty food and beverages through the nationally recognized Virginia’s Finest trademark program.
In 2006, VDACS began working with the cattle producers behind Landcrafted Food to help market their natural, 100% grass-fed beef to new consumers. VDACS aided the company in exploring the development of their own processing facility so they could better control the quality and price of products they delivered. When the company decided on healthy, all-natural beef sticks as the best way forward, VDACS worked with them to design the facility and establish production protocols to ensure the safe, efficient production of their signature product.
Blue Ridge Aquaculture in Ridgeway, is the largest producer of tilapia in the United States.
Upon entering the beef stick market in 2016, Landcrafted partnered with the Virginia’s Finest program and began participating in trade shows across the U.S. as well as internationally. The company is well-positioned for growth in both domestic and international markets. 10
Danone North America Benefits from Virginia’s Supply Chain Ecosystem Danone North America produces brands like Activia, Dannon, Horizon Organic dairy products, and International Delight. Danone North America’s Rockingham County facility sources and distributes locally, obtaining liquid cane sugar from local manufacturer Sugaright, a subsidiary of CSC Sugar. Virginia Dairy Farms, through the Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative, ensures that fluid milk—a staple in many Danone North America products— is sourced locally, as well. With its constant flow of in-demand products, Danone North America partners with Phoenix Packaging, located in Pulaski County, on packaging solutions, and utilizes another Rockinghambased company, InterChange Cold Storage, for the storage and distribution of finished products.
Danone North America, Rockingham County
Grupo Phoenix Finds the Perfect Package in Virginia Grupo Phoenix, a global manufacturer of rigid packaging containers, first established the North American headquarters of its subsidiary, Phoenix Packaging Operations, LLC, in Pulaski County in 2010. Grupo Phoenix selected the Pulaski County Corporate Park for its ready-made sites, accessibility to nearby interstates, and available rail transportation. Grupo Phoenix expanded in 2011 and 2012, and again in 2017. Grupo Phoenix’s latest production upgrades required proficiency in robotics, advanced handling and shipping, and various other 21st-century skills. The company was confident the New River Valley could keep pace with its evolving workforce needs, and cultivated a close relationship with local higher education institutions Virginia Tech and New River Community College. Grupo Phoenix depends on this partnership to supply a pipeline of talented graduates across the skills spectrum, including manufacturing, engineering, and information technology.
Grupo Phoenix, Pulaski County
Our success as a business is integrally linked to the ecosystem in which we operate. DAN POLAND Chief Supply Chain Officer, Danone North America
Grupo Phoenix evaluated various location options to build upon its future in the United States and chose Virginia due to a variety of factors, including a central location that allows us to be within 400 miles of 80 percent of the U.S. East Coast population; the ability to negotiate electricity at a competitive rate; access to rail transport, which reduces our logistics; a motivated labor force; support from the local colleges and universities to assist us with training specialized technical jobs; and the accessibility and unwavering support of the government to work together within the industry to create jobs. ALBERTO PEISACH CEO, Grupo Phoenix
America’s Top State for Talent
New or expanding food and beverage facilities can draw from Virginia’s 42,000 existing food and beverage processing workers, as well as tens of thousands of others with complementary skills. Virginia higher ed institutions offer nearly 100 relevant academic programs producing over 15,000 certificates and degrees each year in areas ranging from food science to engineering to horticulture.
Virginia has made for a great manufacturing location for the Hershey Company because it gives us access to the talent and labor supply that we need to operate a highly efficient, automated manufacturing facility. JASON REIMAN Chief Supply Chain Officer, The Hershey Company
Virginia ensures that new or expanding facilities quickly attract and train high-quality workers by offering a choice between two of America’s best workforce incentive programs: ■
Virginia Talent Accelerator Program – provides world-class, tailored workforce solutions, including recruitment and screening, as well as development and delivery of customized training, all at no cost Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) – provides straightforward grants to reimburse a large portion of recruitment and training costs (for companies that implement their own workforce programs)
The Hershey Company, Augusta County
VJIP has been tremendously impactful in helping us train and develop a whole new generation of operators, technicians, and brewers of the world’s greatest beers! VJIP assisted us in a very pivotal time in the history of our brewery. As a great deal of our team members transition into retirement, we are preparing a new generation to carry the mantle. BRANDON RANDALL Training Manager, Anheuser-Busch
Lidl US, Arlington County
Stone Brewing Co., Richmond
Nestlé USA, Arlington County
An Attractive, Stable, and Predictable Operating Environment Virginia is frequently recognized for its favorable regulatory climate, and it is consistently rated one of the best-run states in the country. Virginia has earned a AAA bond rating for more than 80 consecutive years, longer than any other state, and it benefits from low risk of natural hazards in every region. A right-to-work state with only 2.5% union membership (one of the lowest rates in the country), Virginia also offers low and stable business taxes, as well as competitive utility and construction costs.
Virginia is the northernmost right-to-work state along the I-95 Corridor.
One of the lowest in the nation, Virginia has had a stable 6.0% corporate income tax rate since 1972.
Industrial electricity users paid an average rate of 6.39 cents/kWh in the summer of 2019, compared to the national average of 6.91 cents/kWh.
Sound economic policy and prudent financial management has earned Virginia a AAA credit rating since 1938 — longer than any other state.
A Robust (And Growing) Inventory of Sites and Buildings With 450+ fully characterized development sites of 25 acres or larger, dozens of certified sites, and a growing inventory of spec buildings and virtual buildings, Virginia is constantly working to improve its portfolio of real estate options for food and beverage processing firms.
Total Site Acreage
Certiﬁed Sites Additional Sites in Development
99 and below 100 to 499
500 and above
250 301 220
81 60 460
29 South Boston Mar tinsville
58 South Hill
85 Winston-Salem Knoxville
sites are certified as project-ready under Virginia’s Business Ready Sites Program
of Virginia’s certified parks have graded pad sites available for construction
for project-ready sites to have utilities on-site and all infrastructure in place
Red Sun Farms, Pulaski County
Red Sun Farms Grows High-Tech in the Commonwealth Headquartered in Michoacán, Mexico, Red Sun Farms (Agricola El Rosal) is a producer of high-quality hydroponic vegetables founded in 2001 as part of a family owned agro-industrial group. In 2013, the company invested $30 million in its first high-technology greenhouse production operation in Pulaski County, Virginia. Red Sun Farms erected state-of-the-art, climate-controlled greenhouses on 45 acres of land in the New River Valley Commerce Park to grow quality greenhouse-grown, non-GMO, pesticide-free vegetables. With more than 100 employees, this 21st-century, environmentally safe greenhouse ships 200,000 pounds of tomatoes weekly from April to October. Red Sun Farms was the first tenant of the New River Valley Commerce Park.
Being able to provide quality, safe, and now, locally grown, greenhouse produce to our retail partners and consumers is a great accomplishment for our team. THIERRY LEGROS Managing Director, Red Sun Farms
An Exceptional Quality of Life
Virginia offers stunning landscapes, picturesque small towns, and thriving urban centers alive with arts and culture, all with a mild, four-season climate and a competitive cost of living. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of a wide variety of beautiful settings, from mountains and hiking trails to beaches and rivers.
Dinner in the Field, Hanover County
Pleasure House Oysters, Virginia Beach
Virginia Creeper Trail, Washington County
Bold Rock, Nelson County
Great Falls Park, Fairfax County
Veritas Vineyard and Winery, Nelson County
Ten million gallons of water from Carvins Cove Reservoir in Roanoke County are filtered each day for business and residential customers of the Western Virginia Water Authority.
Expertise • Collaboration • Innovation • Solutions The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) team of dedicated and knowledgeable professionals is committed to Virginia’s economic success, and connects industry-leading businesses to the resources they need to make relocation and expansion successful endeavors. From site selection, customized research, cost analysis, and coordination with public and private partners, to discretionary incentives and workforce solutions, VEDP’s services are tailored to companies’ unique requirements. To learn more about VEDP’s expertise and resources, visit VEDP.org.
© January 2022