Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development celebrated the groundbreaking for Ocean Spray’s juice bottling plant in the Upper Macungie Township of Pennsylvania earlier today. Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker joined Ocean Spray President and CEO Randy Papadellis to officially commemorate the beginning of construction on Ocean Spray’s Lehigh Valley Beverage Facility, the company’s first manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania. The $110 million investment by Ocean Spray will bring 165 jobs and training opportunities to the community.
“Ocean Spray’s decision to relocate to the Lehigh Valley is a result of Gov. Corbett’s commitment to creating a business climate in Pennsylvania that attracts economic growth and new jobs,” Walker said. “This announcement will result in 165 new jobs coming to the region. The positive impact of this project on the community will be enormous, and one the commonwealth is proud to support.”
“Our agricultural roots run deep at Ocean Spray and we are excited to bring good jobs and a commitment to corporate citizenship to the Lehigh Valley community,” added Papadellis. “We hope to grow at the Lehigh Valley facility and we are very pleased that Upper Macungie Township and the Commonwealth have partnered with us and welcomed Ocean Spray as a neighbor.”
The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team (GAT)—a group of economic development professionals who work directly with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania. GAT worked with Team Pennsylvania Foundation and the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) to bring Ocean Spray to Pennsylvania.
“The governor had it right when he said that, when government partners with the private sector, everyone wins. The economy grows and, most importantly, jobs are created,” said Walker. “Today marks an important win for the people of Pennsylvania, and for Ocean Spray.”
Ocean Spray purchased a 44-acre site in Upper Macungie Township in Lehigh County and will begin constructing a 315,000-s.f. state-of-the-art facility that will bottle both Ocean Spray juices as well as Nestle’s Juicy Juice products, producing more than 32 million cases of beverages each year. The facility is slated for completion during the fall of 2013. Due to the company’s commitment to minimizing its environmental impact, Ocean Spray plans to pursue a Gold LEED certification for the building. Beginning with the first shovel that hits the ground, Ocean Spray will ensure that it is using environmentally friendly methods and materials to build the facility and manage construction waste. The modern facility also will enable Ocean Spray to conserve energy through greater efficiencies and smart building designs, such as a planned high-tech HVAC system.
As a grower-owned cooperative, Ocean Spray is not a typical corporation. Comprised of hundreds of small, family farms that provide good-for-you products straight from the land they farm and care for, Ocean Spray is owned by the same folks who grow and harvest the cranberries and grapefruit that families have enjoyed in Ocean Spray’s products for more than 80 years. With more than 700 grower-owners, the cooperative is comprised of many family farms with up to fifth-generation growers—some harvesting cranberries for as long as 138 years. When the new facility’s doors open in September 2013, it will replace the company’s longstanding manufacturing facility in Bordentown, N.J. During the transition, Ocean Spray said it has offered its employees at the Bordentown facility generous incentive, relocation and transition packages to ensure employees are rewarded for their engagement and performance.
“We are proud to have helped cultivate a highly engaged and motivated workforce at Bordentown, which is why we hope many of our Bordentown employees will be able to relocate to our Lehigh Valley facility,” said Papadellis.
In celebration of the cooperative’s newfound partnership with the community, Ocean Spray also announced today that it has made a donation to the building and construction of the Parkland Community Library that will serve the Lehigh Valley region.