A Canadian produce company says it will create 100 new jobs in College Park for its first American potato packing plant.
EarthFresh plans to hire local workers to run the plant, Stephanie Cutaia, spokeswoman for the Ontario-based company, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.
She said when they open in September the plant will handle about 300,000 pounds of potatoes a day.
“It’s an opportunity for EarthFresh to service existing customers faster with fresher produce and hopefully drum up some new business,” Cutaia said.
The new facility in southern Fulton County will span just under 140,000 square feet at 3800 Naturally Fresh Boulevard, near where Roosevelt and South Fulton parkways meet, which will be important for their all-truck transportation chain.
The company currently provides potatoes for large stores and food service companies like Walmart and Sysco in Canada. Attentive shoppers might spot them at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in bags from 1.5 to 10 pounds containing red, russet, yellow and white potato varieties.
When asked if this move south is to attract retailers like Publix and Kroger, Cutaia said: “That’s the hope.”
The company already works with farmers throughout the U.S. in order to ensure freshness all year. But they aren’t taking the tubulars from any farmers in Georgia at the moment. Cutai said they are looking to change that. She also said there are plans to partner with Atlanta Technical College to create a workforce pipeline.
EarthFresh CEO Tom Hughes said in a news release said that the Georgia Department of Economic Development was “invaluable” in helping the company move down. “The state and people of Georgia will benefit from our investment of bringing fresh potatoes to the area and creating more jobs,” he added.
Stefanie Harper, spokeswoman for the state economic development department, told the AJC on Tuesday that she couldn’t release the details of any incentives because the deal was still being finalized.
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