Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced Aug. 8 that Freshpet, Inc., a producer of fresh dog and cat food, will expand its pet food production operations at its current location in Hanover Township, Northampton County. The expansion will create 100 new full-time jobs in the next three years.
“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,” Governor Wolf said. “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 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.
“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 received a funding proposal from the 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 project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC).
“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 Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation. “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.”