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Smucker’s Expanded Memphis Plant Will Manufacture Peanut Butter Brands

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The Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis & Shelby County has approved an application for payment-in-lieu-of-taxes benefits for J.M Smucker LLC for a proposed expansion of the company’s Memphis, Tenn., facility.

The Memphis Business Journal reports that Smucker is planning a $55 million expansion that will add 65 new jobs to the 60 existing local jobs the company has at its 135,000-s.f. facility. The company plans to convert the existing infrastructure into a state-of-the-art peanut butter facility that will manufacture peanut butter brands including Smucker’s, Adam’s, Santa Cruz Organic and Laura Scudder’s. Smucker will continue to manufacture its fruit spread products in Memphis, but at a smaller capacity. The company anticipates launching production of its peanut butter products by summer 2014.

Smucker originally manufactured fruit spread at the facility, located at 4789 Cromwell Rd. and, in 2010, announced plans to shut down the plant by summer 2013 because of its investment in a new $220 million facility in Orrville, Ohio, where the company is based, the Journal says.

“The nice thing about this situation is we started to realize there was an opportunity to do other products in Memphis,” Bob Kenner VP of taxes for Smucker, said during the meeting, according to the Journal. “The advantage of Memphis is we have an existing facility. We would also use an existing warehouse on site. We view the city as a strategic location geographically in the United States. It makes a lot of sense.”

Memphis City Mayor A C Wharton attended the meeting, touting the expansion because the city wouldn’t have to pave roads or run new sewer lines to accommodate the project.

“It allows us to set an example,” Wharton said. “While in many cities, major employers are leaving; we’ve been able to attract and retain employers.”

Smucker received a PILOT with an initial term of 13 years and will receive an additional two years if it meets environmental and diversity requirements for a total of 15 years.

The Journal reports that the manufacturing jobs will pay an estimated $48,256 annual salary including benefits.


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