LiDestri Foods Inc. is partnering with Crop’s N.V. of Belgium to produce ready-to-eat meals at a new facility at Eastman Business Park. The move is expected to create 123 new full-time jobs in the next five years.
Up to $4 million for the project is being made available through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Another $4 million also may be provided through the Excelsior Tax Credit Program in exchange for job creation commitments.
The URI capital grant stipulates that $1 million of the $4 million grant is tied to the region’s anti-poverty initiative; the company will have to hire 33 people who meet the eligibility requirements for the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative.
“We are excited because we are bringing an innovative product from our European partners that not only provides jobs for families but an innovative, on-trend healthy choice for families,” LiDestri Co-president John LiDestri said in a statement Tuesday.
Officials did not disclose the name of the new manufacturing company that will be formed as a result of the partnership, nor when construction would begin or end. The project will help retain 900 jobs at LiDestri’s two locations on Lee Road and in Fairport.
“By investing in innovative projects and partnerships we are growing key industries across the state and creating more jobs for New Yorkers,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “This new partnership will continue to highlight the region’s great agricultural assets and build on the efforts of the regionally designed Finger Lakes Forward plan to reinvigorate communities and generate economic growth across the entire region.”
The $51.3 million project will include the construction of a 65,000-square-foot facility at EBP, as well as the addition of manufacturing lines, a railroad extension and utility upgrades.
“New occupants at Eastman Business Park continue to contribute to its growth,” EBP President and Eastman Kodak Co. CFO David Bullwinkle said. “With almost 110 companies operating in the park today and impressive momentum for new users, we are working to bring in several more in 2019. Eastman Business Park resources are a great fit for food and beverage processing, biopharma and roll-to-roll manufacturing.”
LiDestri was founded in 1975 as Cantisano Foods Inc. and is known for its pasta sauces, dips and salsas. Crop’s N.V. manufactures and distributes frozen food in Europe including fruits and vegetables.
“LiDestri Food and Drink has been a catalyst to the transformation of Eastman Business Park and has become one of our region’s fastest growing employers,” Sen. Joe Robach, R-Greece, said. “This exciting partnership will bring even more jobs to the revitalized Eastman Business Park. As a member of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, I am proud to see the state’s investment in this project and significant tax dollars coming back to our community.”
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