Tag: Food and Agriculture

New B&M Meats Chooses Delaware for $18M Food Production Facility

New B&M Meats Chooses Delaware as Home for Expanded Production, Diversified Product Offerings

B&M Philly Steaks new food production facility

Will Add 80,000 Square Foot Production Facility and 190 New Food Production Jobs and Help Rejuvenate Wilmington’s Seventh Street Peninsula

WILMINGTON, Del. — New B&M Meats Inc., a leading manufacturer of raw sandwich steaks and chicken steaks in the Northeast United States, is expanding in the City of Wilmington and will invest more than $18 million in the construction of a new 80,000 square-foot food production facility and add 190 new jobs to the city’s food production industry sector over the next several years.

Delaware Prosperity Partnership – Delaware’s nonprofit public-private economic development organization – and Wilmington’s Office of Economic Development began working with New B&M Meats in 2020 to help the company evaluate scenarios for combining operations in the region to achieve its expansion goals.

New B&M Meats presented before the state Council for Development Finance today to request grant funding from the Delaware Strategic Fund. Approval for the grants by the Council helped solidify the company’s decision to grow its Delaware presence through expansion of its current Wilmington location and construction of a new food production facility nearby.

“I want to thank B&M Meats for their commitment to our state and choosing to expand their production in the City of Wilmington,” said Governor John Carney. “These new jobs will support Delaware workers and their families. This announcement once again proves that Delaware is a great place for companies to grow.”

New B&M Meats currently employs 98 people in Wilmington. The company will use a Performance Grant of $195,975 to add 70 jobs to support organic growth at its existing Commerce Street location. The new facility will be completed along East Seventh Street on three parcels of land totaling 10 acres with support from a Capital Expenditure Grant of $555,300. A second Performance Grant of $359,450 will help the company add another 120 jobs at the new site to support increased production capacity, diversified product offerings and operational expansion through entry into new markets. The company plans to start construction on the new facility in 2022 and open it in late 2023 or early 2024.

“We are very excited to welcome New B&M Meats to Wilmington as the company expands to the Seventh Street Peninsula, producing nearly 200 new jobs in the coming years,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “Together with Light Action Production’s new multi-million-dollar sound stage and the new CP Furniture factory, B&M Meats will augment the Seventh Street Peninsula’s unique blend of business park and historic cultural amenities. My thanks to the Delaware Prosperity Partnership as well as Jeff Flynn and his team in Wilmington’s Office of Economic Development for helping to see this project through to fruition. It is just one more example of how Wilmington is on the move, continuing to attract new businesses, jobs, and residents to all parts of our city.”

By 2026, New B&M Meats projects total employment of 288 people between the two Wilmington facilities. New positions will include production line workers; operators; maintenance and production supervisors; and shippers/handlers. The company is currently hiring for positions at the Commerce Street location, and interviews will begin in late 2023 or early 2024 for the Seventh Street facility.

“As one of the largest Philly steak manufacturers in the country, we’re excited to grow our presence in the rapidly growing and vibrant Wilmington community,” said Steve Realbuto, president. “With a strong pool of talent, supportive local and state government, and proximity to critical transportation routes, Delaware is a great place for a manufacturing company to do business.”

“As we were looking for the site of our next facility, the City of Wilmington and State of Delaware were true partners every step of the way,” said Chris Linteris, CFO. “Jeff Flynn assisted us throughout the entire process, from searching for land and planning for development, he provided key introductions to local vendors and stakeholders. We would also like to thank our banking partner, ConnectOne Bank, for support of our continued growth. With these critical partnerships, we plan to continue our investment in the community and develop additional projects in the coming years.”

“B&M is a shining example of the critical role small and mid-size businesses play in fueling the local economies in which they operate,” said Elizabeth Magennis, president of ConnectOne Bank. “We are proud to support B&M in this exciting endeavor – a client committed to creating opportunities to enhance local communities through its own growth and expansion.”

About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Delaware Prosperity Partnership leads Delaware’s economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses; to build a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and to support private employers in identifying, recruiting, and developing talent. The DPP team works with site selectors, executives and developers focused on where to locate or grow a business and helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analyses and funding opportunities, including available tax credits and incentives. DPP advances a culture of innovation in Delaware, working with innovators and startups to spotlight and celebrate successes and connect them with the resources they need to succeed. DPP and its partnerships throughout Delaware support and advance the missions of companies of all sizes and sectors.

About New B&M Meats Inc.

Delaware-based New B&M Meats Inc. is part of the Wonder Meats family of businesses, which also includes Brooklyn Provisions, Broad Street Butcher, Lindee Corned Beef and Nations Best Deli Meats. Wonder Meats began as a family-owned storefront butcher shop in New York City in 1971 and has been based in Carlstadt, New Jersey, since 1994. Company President Steve Realbuto, whose father, Santo Realbuto, opened that first butcher shop 40 years ago, acquired B&M Meats in 2016.

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Suzuki Farm Enters the Next Level of Japanese Produce Business

Delmar’s Suzuki Farm Entering Next Level of Japanese Produce Business With Purchase by Food’s Style USA

produce business delaware Suzuki Farms

Fresh, local produce is a point of pride for the Delmarva Peninsula, which is known for corn, tomatoes, watermelons, lima beans and soybeans. Large farms supply ingredients for poultry feed, while boutique growers deliver to restaurants and frequent farm markets.

But one Delmar-area farm has quietly cornered a niche market — not only in Delaware but also along the East Coast. Suzuki Farms is the rare grower of Japanese herbs, vegetables and citrus.

Japanese Produce Business a Labor of Love

For decades, the produce business has been a labor of love for Ken Suzuki, who was born in Gamagori, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. To take the business to the next level, he turned to Seattle-based Food’s Style USA Inc., which acquired the farm in February 2021. The new owner has hit the ground running.

“We are planning to build a new packing facility and greenhouses to grow more produce and maintain better quality,” says Takahiro Igo, vice president of Food’s Style.

As a result, Delaware may become just as famous for shiso and shishito peppers as it is for chickens.

Spotting a Need

Suzuki, a trained chick sexer, and wife Kumiko came to the United States in 1974 to work for Perdue Farms. Unable to find high-quality, affordable Japanese produce, he began growing his own on a small farm. The hobby wasn’t a stretch: Suzuki had attended an agricultural high school in Japan.

Even so, it wasn’t easy. The fledgling farmer quickly learned that rabbits like edamame, and although the area weather is similar to that in the Miyagi prefecture, Mid-Atlantic cold snaps can wipe out a crop. But Suzuki persisted and, after 20 years in Parsonsburg, Maryland, moved to a Delmar, Delaware, farm.

After Perdue changed its chick sexing methods, Suzuki turned his pastime into a business. However, specializing in Japanese produce requires meticulous attention to detail. For discerning restaurateurs and wholesalers, each yuzu, daikon radish or mustard green must be as beautiful as it is tasty.

Suzuki Farms japanese produce delawareAmong the 30-plus crops are Japanese radish, Napa cabbage, edamame, eggplant and peppers. The bestseller is Tokyo scallion, which is thicker and sweeter than conventional supermarket scallions. Suzuki Farms also sells to individuals, who can order online.

The Perfect Match

In his 70s, Suzuki was looking for the next generation of ownership for his farm. Meanwhile, Food’s Style sought to diversify. Like the entire hospitality industry, the company’s Hokkaido Ramen Santouka restaurants in Washington, Massachusetts and Virginia were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were looking for an opportunity to either take over a business or start a farm of our own,” Igo explains. “‘Stay home’ made people more curious about food safety.”

Mutual contacts put Food’s Style and Suzuki Farm in touch. “We learned that he is popular and famous on the East Coast,” Igo says. “He has been doing business for a long time.”

The founder is staying on to help train employees in the proper techniques. Since the farm is now at production capacity, Food’s Style will be working to increase the output. That means more machinery, more greenhouses and a new packing facility.

It also means cultivating more land. The farm currently has about 35 cultivated acres, and there is room for more fields. Nevertheless, Igo envisions the need for additional acres — hopefully in Delaware.

“Delaware’s state and county agencies,” he notes, “are very friendly to communicate with and very helpful to the small local businesses.”

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Rob Rider Leads O.A. Newton to Record Growth

Rob Rider Leads O.A. Newton to Record Growth

1 October, 2021  LiveLoveDelaware.com

O.A. Newton CEO Rob Rider

For a business that has constantly reinvented itself over its 104 years in business, O.A. Newton & Son CEO Rob Rider doesn’t even pause when asked about his company’s elevator speech.

“We’re in two businesses – irrigation and farm and ranch products for a local customer base (Delmarva) and engineered material-handling systems on a national and international level,” says the fourth-generation leader (his grandfather Warren Newton was the “& Sons”).

Where many other Delaware businesses have struggled to survive during the pandemic, Rider says his company has been challenged to keep up as its building-product clients experience record sales and look to expand. For Rider, COVID 19 has been a business accelerant that has helped him grow revenues and move from 30 employees to nearly 40.

“Because we’re involved in both manufacturing and agriculture, we have been considered essential from the start, so we never laid anyone off,” he says. “At the beginning, we were getting ready to start a pretty large [composite decking] project and [the client] wouldn’t let us on site for a month. But that turned out to be a blessing because we were a bit behind schedule, and it allowed us to catch up and get the project back on schedule.”

Big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s saw a jump in business as homebound Delawareans decided to start or move forward with projects. As a result, demand for PVC pipe and fencing, vinyl siding, and wood composite decking stayed very strong.

At the same time, O.A. Newton continued to expand a longtime relationship with Miller Metal Fabrication, which leases space from Rider’s company.

“We decided 14 years ago that we didn’t need our employees doing the sheet metal fabrication for our products,” Rider says. “Miller Metal has developed a lot of advanced manufacturing to make our products better at a lower cost.”

For example, a few years ago, O.A. Newton identified a bottleneck in its production process involving a “spray and bake” painting process called powder coating that Miller Metal has been able to resolve. But Rider says client demand for the service has led them to offer the service to others from Harrington as an additional business.

“It’s not innovative and it’s not a new product,” Rider says. “You need to pay attention to what customers are asking for and then meeting the demand. It might only involve six or eight customers but there’s huge volume and we’ll be able to meet the demand together. You have to be ready to adapt.”

That discussion swung around to a question about O.A. Newton’s legacy after more than a century in Sussex County. The company got its start developing a feed for chickens that led to greater egg production, which led to feed-milling and chicken-breeding businesses. Beyond that, there is a dizzying list of businesses that Rob’s father Bob and then Rob himself started in response to customer needs and opportunities that they saw.

The commitment to innovation and being nimble led O.A. Newton to begin building conveyor belts to move the feed they milled in the 1950s. That led to the creation of conveying systems for companies that make plastic pipe and siding and decking and then to offering replacement parts and service when the recession slowed new construction. The company sold the poultry business was sold in 1969, and a parts counter became the O.A. Newton Farm and Ranch Store, essentially a specialty hardware store that recognized the changing demographics in Sussex and Kent counties from fewer large farms to more farmettes and hobby farms.

“As you can imagine, with our market being building products, the recession decimated our customers,” Rider says. “We had to really retrench and rebuild our business. When the housing bubble burst, it forced out a lot of inefficient manufacturing and we’ve seen steady growth since.”

The desire to stay nimble has led O.A. Newton to form partnerships with companies that have what they need, need what they have, or offer the scale to help them sell their products.

Rob Rider Remains an Unbashed Delaware Supporter

Since the start of the pandemic, the company has grown from 30 to nearly 40. Through it all, Rider has remained an unabashed Delaware supporter.

“Delaware has always been an easy place to do business,” he says. “Labor is easy to deal with and it’s easy to get answers. I can’t say that it’s always wonderful from a regulatory standpoint – that’s one of the things we need to work on — but it’s better than most. We’d never consider moving because of the experience we’ve had here.”

O.A. Newton recently shut down branch locations that served retail customers in New Jersey and New York for about 10 years because the “headache of doing business in those states wasn’t worth it. They weren’t terrible experiences, but in both cases, we just decided it wasn’t the right fit for us.”

Rider says he talks to people all the time who are considering renting space in his buildings or buying real estate to build themselves.

“I tell them we have a great workforce and the process to get located here from beginning to end is as easy and convenient as you’re going to get,” he says, adding that he completely supports the efforts of Bob Perkins and the Delaware Business Roundtable’s Ready in Six initiative to accelerate the permitting process.

Before ending the interview, Rider elaborated on his answer about the company’s legacy.

“I would hope that people are saying we’re keeping up with the times and exceeding their expectations, maintaining our relevance in today’s world,” says Rider. “Legacy to me really means reputation and one of the things that is more important than anything is being fair to our customers, our employees, and our community – pretty much in that order.”

“If we are not equally caring for all three of those stakeholders, then we’re not going to continue to exist. When we make decisions, we think about the impact tomorrow and 10 years from now.”

This article was originally posted on LiveLoveDelaware.com at: https://www.livelovedelaware.com/rob-rider-leads-o-a-newton-to-record-growth/

Kurt Foreman


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No State Builds Pathways from High School to Jobs as well as Delaware Does: Opinion

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No State Builds Pathways from High School to Jobs as well as Delaware Does: Opinion

7 NOVEMBER, 2019

How can it be that with the lowest unemployment rate in anyone’s memory, the U.S. still has 6.9 jobs seeking workers and 6.3 workers seeking jobs?

There is no single answer, but a big part of the problem is the skills gap – not enough workers with the right skills, especially to fill middle-skill jobs in such fields as health care, IT, and advanced manufacturing.

Many states are building pipeline programs to address this gap, programs that begin in high school, connect to post secondary institutions, and work with employers to ensure that students have the right skills to fill in-demand jobs that can get them launched on fulfilling careers.

No state does this as well as Delaware.

Over these past six years, Delaware has, from a standing start, created a statewide career pathways system that has become a model for the nation. Delaware has grown from 27 students enrolled in an advanced manufacturing program in 2014 to 16,000 students across the state currently enrolled in 25 career pathways in 12 high-growth, high-demand sectors of the state’s economy.

The state is on track to meet its goal of enrolling 20,000 students — half the high school population — in career pathways by 2020.

Delaware’s story is the lead chapter in a new book just published by Harvard Education Press, “Career Pathways in Action: Case Studies from the Field,” written by Nancy Hoffman and myself. This book, and the case study of Delaware Pathways, will be featured in a session at the upcoming annual Vision Coalition Conference Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the University of Delaware.

In a few short years, Delaware Pathways has transformed the education landscape. Career pathways match students’ interests with tailored instruction and relevant work-based learning experiences, and award industry-recognized credentials and college credits while students are still in high school.

These pathways provide on and off ramps for the full spectrum of options. A young person on a health care pathway could use it to decide: a) to become a certified nursing assistant so she can start earning some money while she weighs her options; b) to start working toward becoming a medical doctor; or c) that it isn’t the right field.

The goal is to give program participants enough early exposure to the world of work and careers to make informed decisions about what comes next after high school.

How has Delaware been able to build such a robust career pathways system in such a short time? The secret is partnership.

The collaboration among statewide entities like the departments of Education and Labor, Delaware Technical Community College, the United Way, Rodel and a network of private employers large and small led to the development of a compelling strategic plan specifying the roles and responsibilities of each partner.

This cross-agency structure is unusually strong, and a dedicated core team from the partner organizations has stuck together to implement that plan.

Delaware Pathways is not without its challenges, including the provision of meaningful work-based learning opportunities for all participants and the development of a long-range funding plan.

But with Gov. John Carney leading the effort to bring more employers to the table, the first challenge is being addressed, and given the broad-based political support for the program, I’m confident the funding challenge will be addressed as well.

Delaware, you are currently building what many believe is the most scalable and replicable career pathways model in the nation.

Keep pushing.

The leaders of the other 15 state and regional members of the Pathways Network are all pulling for you because what you build here could not only help your young people, but benefit their peers in states across the United States.

— Robert Schwartz is a professor emeritus of practice in educational policy and administration at Harvard Graduate School of Education and co-founder of the Pathways to Prosperity Network.

Kurt Foreman


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Agribusiness: An Up-Close Look at Delaware’s Farms

Agribusiness: An up-close look at Delaware’s farms

7 OCTOBER, 2019

In September, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) led its second ag tour, connecting local entrepreneurs and researchers to farmers and other agtech stakeholders to learn from one another and problem solve.

The group started at the Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA), where they were greeted by Ag Secretary Michael Scuse, then they visited Fifer Orchards in Camden. Bobby Fifer, one of the owner/operators of the farm addressed the group, shared challenges that the farm faces in terms of business and technology and fielded questions from the group. Ed Kee, DPP Board member and former Ag Secretary, also answered questions and spurred on the discussion.

Sec. Kee then led the group to visit farmer Brandon Bonk, who took a break from harvesting corn in one of his fields outside of Frederica to answer questions from the group, ranging from the breadth of technology inside the cab of his combine harvester, to the types of cover crops he uses to seed his fields when not in primary use. Bonk, who farms nearly 5,000 acres with only a modest staff, uses a sophisticated operation to handle the breadth of acreage.

Entrepreneurs and researchers were able to have direct access to farmers and relevant stakeholders to gather information. This is the second farm tour led by DPP, and is part of our organization’s commitment to the AgTech and Ag community in Delaware.

For more information and/or to participate in the next tour (Likely in Spring 2020) email scoulby@choosedelaware.com.

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White Dog Labs and Cargill Team up to Offer Sustainable Fish Feed

White Dog Labs and Cargill team up to offer sustainable fish feed


Cargill, the global agricultural supply company, has entered an agreement with Newark-based White Dog Labs to develop sustainable alternatives to fishmeal in aqua feed.

The deal gives Cargill access to ProTyton, a patented single-cell protein developed by White Dog Labs that is produced by fermentation with corn feedstock.

The protein is set to ship out from White Dog Labs’ demo facility in Sutherland, Nebraska in 2020.

“This agreement underlines our commitment to sustainable aquaculture and discovering new and strategic ingredients that will help feed the world in a safe and responsible way,” said Adriano Marcon, president of Cargill’s aqua nutrition business. “ProTyton offers a good source of protein for fish and shrimp, an affordable feed ingredient for farmers and a sustainable option for the planet that lessens our reliance on fishmeal—which we know to be a finite resource.”

Starting off Cargill will offer ProTyton in salmon feed, with shrimp and other species on the horizon. In trials, salmon fed a diet containing ProTyton™ achieved a growth performance comparable to salmon on a conventional diet.

“We’re honored to partner with Cargill to lead the industry in the application of highly scalable, alternative proteins for aquaculture,” said Bryan Tracy, chief executive officer, White Dog Labs.

The agreement follows another collaboration for White Dog Labs. This summer the firm announced a strategic partnership with InnovaFeed to scale up and jointly market fish feed made with insect protein.

This article was originally posted on the Delaware Business Times at: https://www.delawarebusinesstimes.com/white-dog-labs-sustainable-fish-feed/

Kurt Foreman


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Delaware Agribusiness – Farming the 21st Century Way

Delaware Agribusiness – Farming the 21st Century Way

Local Ag R&D is growing; Farmland is increasingly protected

WILMINGTON, Del.July 19, 2019. The Delaware agribusiness sector is growing, as ag-science companies expand their presence and the state approves additional farmland preservation.

FMC Corporation plans to invest more than $50 million over the next three years in capital improvement projects, including a state-of-the-art reconfiguration of a greenhouse and research facility at the company’s Global Research and Development headquarters in Newark, Delaware.

Last month, FMC Corporation, an agricultural sciences company, announced a $50M investment to completely reconfigure a new greenhouse complex and perform other site improvements at its global R&D headquarters in Newark, Del. In May, Corteva Agriscience spun off from DowDuPont (keeping its Delaware headquarters) to become the leading agricultural sciences firm, with an estimated $14B in annual revenue. And last year, Belchim, a Belgian chemical crop protection company, established its U.S. headquarters in Delaware to capitalize on the state’s concentration of bioscience firms and talent.

To support the sector, Delaware Governor John Carney announced new farmland preservation. More than 25 percent of Delaware’s farmland (134,000 acres) is now permanently preserved, thanks to matching funds from multiple sources, including the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), the United States Navy’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program, Sussex County Council, New Castle County Council, and Kent County Levy Court.

Agribusiness in Delaware

Ag-science and Agtech are reinventing one of America’s legacy sectors – farming. That’s part of the reason Delaware has one of the nation’s most successful farm industries in the country. Ed Kee, DPP Board member and Delaware’s former Secretary of Agriculture explains, “Nothing can replace the experience, know-how, and powers of observation of the farmer.” In Delaware, agriculture is the single largest land use with nearly 40 percent of land across 2,500 farms devoted to agricultural production. And it pays off—in 2017, Delaware ranked second in the nation in per-farm sales, with an average of $637,000 per farm, which was significantly greater than the national average of $190,000 per farm.

Most farms in Delaware, 39 percent of the total, are between 10 to 49 acres and produce commodities such as lima beans, soy, corn, and wheat. In fact, Delaware produces the most lima bean of any state in the nation—more than one-third of the U.S. total. The annual harvest of more than 350,000 acres of corn and soybeans is used to produce chicken feed, with almost $1 billion of chicken feed ingredients purchased across the Delmarva Peninsula in 2017.

Poultry Production

Statewide, Delaware farmers produced 1.87 billion pounds of chicken in 2017. Sussex County, Delaware is the #1 producer of poultry and eggs in the nation. The county is considered the birthplace of the broiler chicken industry, and it continues to be the top broiler producing county in the United States. Poultry production companies like Mountaire Farms and Allen Harim Foods call the state home. Perdue Farms in Milford, Delaware is the nation’s largest USDA-certified organic chicken plant.

About Delaware Prosperity Partnership

Created in 2017, Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) is the nonprofit that leads the state of Delaware’s economic development efforts to attract, grow and retain businesses, including agribusiness companies. DPP works with site selectors, commercial developers and business executives focused on where to locate or grow a business. The team helps with reviewing potential sites, cost-of-living analysis, quality-of-life intel and funding opportunities, including available tax credits and incentives. For more information, visit www.choosedelaware.com.

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Agribusiness Thrives in Delaware

Agribusiness Thrives in Delaware

5 AUGUST, 2019

Agribusiness companies are strengthening their foothold in Delaware as the state continues to be a favored destination for food production and agscience companies to invest in and grow. Agriculture in Delaware has been there since colonial times. Today, approximately 500,000 acres generates about $1.2 billion a year in cash farm sales. In Delaware, this noble industry produces food for the country and the world.

Agriculture is the driving force behind Delaware’s economy. Farming is still a family business in the First State. About 90 percent of farms are either sole or family proprietorships or family-owned corporations. Just under 40 percent of the state’s land is devoted to agricultural production, making it the predominant land use.

Major agribusiness companies continue to heavily invest in the state, generating jobs and furthering Delaware’s economy. Read on to learn how some of the leading businesses in the agribusiness industry are building a prosperous future in Delaware.

Dot Foods Plans its 12th Distribution Center in Delaware

Dot Foods, the largest food industry redistributor in North America, is setting up a new $36-million facility on 35 acres of land in Bear, Delaware to better serve its customers in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. This new center will include more than 111,000 square feet of refrigerated, frozen and dry storage warehouse space, 12,600 square feet of office space, and a 9,700 square foot garage. They plan to employ 200 people by 2022.

JustFoodForDogs Finalizes Plans to Invest in New Castle County

JustFoodforDogs is the breakthrough innovator offering highly nutritious meals for dogs. Based in California for the last 8 years, JustFoodforDogs has finalized its plans to expand all over the country, including Delaware. It plans to set up its first Delaware kitchen spread over an expansive 21,000 square foot space in New Castle County. This is expected to employ 50 employees with an estimated payroll of $2.24M, producing 30,000 pounds of food daily to be distributed direct-to-consumer via online sales, as well as to JustFoodsforDogs pantries throughout the United States.

“JustFoodForDogs choosing Delaware reflects our state’s reputation for welcoming innovative businesses of all sizes, as well as Delaware’s solid experience and expertise in the food industry,” said Governor John Carney. “We are proud to be the first East Coast kitchen and we’re excited that their presence will create new jobs in New Castle County.”

Perdue Named “America’s Best-In-State Employers 2019”

Forbes has named Perdue Farms one of “America’s Best in-State Employers 2019” in North Carolina and Delaware. Perdue Farms, Perdue Foods, and Perdue Agribusiness have more than 6,000 employees in Delaware. Believing in responsible food and agriculture, they are empowering consumers, customers, and farmers through trusted choices in products and services. Their future is all about getting bigger and getting better.

FMC Plans Investment in Delaware

FMC Corporation, a publicly-traded agricultural sciences company, plans to invest more than $50 million over the next three years in capital improvement projects, including a state-of-the-art reconfiguration of a greenhouse and research facility at the company’s Global Research and Development headquarters in Newark, Delaware. A leader in developing agricultural products, FMC continues to contribute significantly to the economic progress of the First State.

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Dot Foods Plans to Open $36 Million Bear Distribution Center in Fall 2019

Dot Foods plans to open $36 million Bear distribution center in fall 2019


Dot Foods broke ground Tuesday on its dozenth distribution center and already has a trucking operation in place in Delaware.

The $36 million facility will be constructed on 35 acres in Bear, near Route 1.The 188,000-square-foot facility will be located at 301 American Boulevard, near the intersection of Red Lion and Wrangle Hill Roads.

The complex includes offices; dry, refrigerated and frozen warehouse space; and a truck yard and garage to service Dot’s fleet.

“A lot of work has been done to get us to this day,” said Dick Tracy, Dot Foods president, “And we are excited to move this project into the next phase. Dot Foods Delaware joins our other two East Coast locations, in Maryland and New York and will allow us to even better serve our customers in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. We look forward to building relationships with many more people in the region as we become part of the Bear community.”

Dot Foods leadership were joined by state and county leaders to mark the occasion. Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, and Director Damian DeStefano of the Delaware Division of Small Business attended the groundbreaking ceremony, along with State Sen. Nicole Poore and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer.

Dot will begin work on the Bear distribution center next month, with an estimated completion date of fall 2019.

Dot will hire up to 125 people in the first year, starting with truck drivers. The company has established a terminal location in nearby New Castle for its transportation operations at 194 S. DuPont Highway.

Dot Transportation offers career opportunities for both experienced and new drivers at the New Castle terminal.

Drivers’ salaries are guaranteed in writing; experienced drivers who handle freight are guaranteed to earn $75,000 their first year, and those who do not touch freight are guaranteed $71,800. Experienced drivers also receive an assigned tractor on day one, vacation time match and health insurance gap coverage.

Dot will also have career opportunities for warehouse and support staff. Hiring will get underway next spring. Dot plans to employ 200 people by 2022.

“The best part of moving into a new community and establishing a new distribution center is building our team,” Tracy explained. “We’re so happy to be at the point that we can start meeting with potential employees in New Castle County and the surrounding area. These are the people who are going to drive our success in Delaware. Today marks a big moment in our company’s history.”

Dot’s Class A Regional Driver positions are currently posted on DriveforDot.com. Dot will employ 50 drivers by the time the Bear distribution center opens in late 2019. As additional positions in the warehouse and office become available, they will be posted at DotFoods.com/careers. Dot Foods and Dot Transportation offer competitive wages and a benefit package worth $20,000 that includes health insurance, prescription drug insurance, dental, vision, life insurance, 401(k) with company match, profit sharing and college tuition reimbursement.

Dot Foods Delaware will be led by general manager Joe Little. Little will celebrate his 30thanniversary with the company in 2019. He began his career at Dot’s corporate headquarters in Mt. Sterling, Illinois. After spending 13 years there, he moved to Dot’s Maryland location, before transferring to Idaho to open that distribution center. For the last five years, Little has served as the general manager of Dot Foods New York in Liverpool. Little and his wife Janna are in the process of relocating to Delaware.

Dot Foods Inc. carries 127,000 products from 930 food industry manufacturers making it the largest food industry redistributor in North America. Redistribution involves breaking down truckloads of food products into smaller loads that are delivered to customers.

Through Dot Transportation Inc., an affiliate of Dot Foods, the family owned company distributes foodservice, convenience, retail and vending products to distributors in all 50 states and more than 35 countries.

Dot Foods operates 11 U. S. distribution centers in Modesto, CA; Vidalia, GA; Burley, ID; Mt. Sterling, IL ; Cambridge City, IND; Williamsport, MD; Liverpool, NY; Ardmore, OK; Dyersburg, TN; University Park, IL; and Bullhead City, AZ. Dot Foods’ Canadian operations are located in Toronto and Calgary. For information, visit dotfoods.com.

This article was originally posted on the Delaware Business Times at: https://delawarebusinessnow.com/2018/10/101651/

Kurt Foreman


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New Businesses, Expanding Arts: the Milton Renaissance

New businesses, expanding arts: the Milton renaissance

25 JULY, 2018

During the economic downturn of the late 2000s, Milton had fallen on hard times.

There were empty storefronts, and the mood surrounding the town was down, said Ted Kanakos, mayor of Milton since 2016 and a resident in Sussex County for the last 20 years.

But there has been an uptick in the town since then.

“Milton is definitely in a renaissance,” he said.

Artisanal businesses have emerged, food trucks are a regular sight downtown and town festivals are commonplace.

In town, 73 out of the 74 storefronts have businesses in them, Kanakos said, and the mood surrounding the town has greatly improved with subdivisions being built and people moving in.

“The interesting thing about the economics of a town, a few years ago when the downturn of 2007 was really bad, the economy was bad, we were building almost no houses in our town,” Kanakos said. “Today, each year we set a record for building more houses, and when you have roofs, you have businesses. You can’t have businesses without people living in town.”

When the economy started to improve after 2010, people were more willing to take a risk on a business venture.

During the recession, when a business failed, stores would sit vacant for up to a year, Kanakos said.

“Now, if they don’t make it, that store is re-rented immediately, so there are a lot of people that want to be in business in our town,” he said.

But before the uptick, organizations such as the Milton Community Foundation had to help support businesses and art in the town.

Milton Community Foundation was a large part of the Horseshoe Crab Festival when it first started 15 years ago, said Steve Crawford, president of the Milton Community Foundation.

“We helped generate interest in town businesses through promoting festivals like the Horseshoe Crab Festival,” he said.

When he first moved to Milton in 2012, it felt vacant, he said. But since then, that has changed.

“I think we are small still, and is difficult to say directly that we helped bring businesses in, but we supported the community during the downturn and helped them that way,” Crawford said.

One business that has had success in Milton since opening is Suburban Farmhouse, a coffee shop and bakery on Federal Street.

The store opened in 2017, and when she first talked about opening it, people gave co-owner Kristen Latham a weird look.

“It has been an amazing outpouring of support since then,” she said. “We love this business, we love this town, we love this town’s people. They have rallied together and made us into such a success in such a short amount of time. I wouldn’t want us to be anywhere else.”

The store may add a new location in the future or expand, but right now, Latham is satisfied with where they are.

Milton is home, she said.

“A Milton local will come and they will bring their friend from Long Neck and their friend from Georgetown and Rehoboth, and they are all here,” said Jodi Sickles, co-owner of the Suburban Farmhouse. “We know everybody’s name and what they drink and I know what they want to eat.”

Milton — and their store — has turned into a destination for many people, Latham said, because they want to experience small-town charm.

They were destined to be there, she added, and the entire experience has been “serendipitous.”

“Milton is the place to go,” Latham said. “Milton is the place to be, and I think we have been saying that for the last few years and now it’s happening.”

In recent years, Milton, much like the small town of Berlin, Maryland, has been awarded with many recognitions as community with charm.

One business that has been in Milton since 2002 and stuck with the town through the economic downturn is Dogfish Head.

The beer trailblazers have their main brewery and cannery in the town, but it is very important that they support not just the town of Milton but the entire coastal Delaware region, said Mark Carter, off-centered event planning and benevolencing director.

“We are growing, obviously Delaware is growing, the town of Milton is going, Sussex County beach life, the whole area, is growing, and we bring a lot of folks into the community, not just Milton but all the neighborhoods and towns we are connected to,” he said. “So we bring 100,000 visitors in a year, those visitors, hopefully, traffic, not just by vehicle but by foot as well, into Milton.”

Dogfish will encourage people to venture into Milton to experience the town and see the historical society and possibly catch a play at the Milton theater. (Milton Mayor Kanakos said they have over 300 productions per year there.)

Dogfish Head also sponsor nonprofits such as the Milton Theater or Milton Community Foundation to make the town in which they are located more beautiful and more attractive to visitors.

“One of the things, I think, from day one Dogfish Head has always been about not just ‘Hey, we’re Dogfish, and we make beer,’ ” Carter said. “It’s ‘Hey, we’re Dogfish, and we are proud to be in coastal Delaware.’ “

Having a strong town council and a strong town manager that are actively invested in the town has helped tremendously, Kanakos said.

The people on the town council are at the top of their professions, he added, ensuring only the best of the best will be there helping out Milton.

Kristy Rogers, who became the town manager in early 2017, has also been an excellent asset to the town, Kanakos said, because of her ability to negotiate contracts with other agencies that will benefit the town.

Their representatives in the Delaware General Assembly, Sen. Ernie Lopez and Rep. Steve Smyk, also help the town out, ensuring their needs are met by the General Assembly to ensure they are competitive with other towns, Kanakos said.

Above all, though, since taking over as mayor two years ago, Kanakos is just happy with the way his town has grown and the responses to it.

“This is the leading edge,” he said. “Just a little town like this.”

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Agribusiness from Europe Establishes U.S. Headquarters in Delaware

Agribusiness from Europe Establishes U.S. Headquarters in Delaware

16 JULY, 2018

When it came time for Belchim Crop Protection to decide on the home for its United States headquarters, the European company looked at the Research Triangle in North Carolina. It looked in Kansas City and it looked in Dallas.

So, naturally the agribusiness has set up HQ in a business park on Centerville Road where Prices Corner meets Greenville.

Now, the company with a growing portfolio of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and other biological products is poised to take a larger market share in the U.S.

Last year, Belchim, which reported $600 million in sales in 2017, acquired Prescott, Arizona-based Engage Agro USA, laying the groundwork for major U.S. expansion.

The U.S. arm of Belchim plans $50 million in growth over the next three years. U.S. general manager Tom Wood said the growth will be aimed at expanding from niche fruit and vegetable crops into large row crops like corn.

Most of Belchim’s U.S. customers are on the west coast. The expansion into row crops will open up east coast markets like Delaware, where corn and soy crops are aplenty. Wood said Belchim is going to bring a unique herbicide to the U.S. market that is not there today.

Setting up in Delaware, of course, puts Belchim in the backyard of DuPont, which will live in on Delaware with its Corteva Acgriscience spinoff. Chemical giant FMC also makes Philadelphia its home. Belchim and FMC worked together in 2013, when Belchim granted FMC exclusive rights to develop, register, manufacture and sell Belchim’s proprietary fungicide valifenalate, in North America, Latin America and elsewhere.

Belchim later bought back FMC’s stake in the company after FMC acquired Cheminova.

“It’s a David and Goliath story,” Wood said. “We’re up against giants.

“Our strategy is not to go head-to-head with the basics like Corteva and not to go head-to-head in national distribution… Our strategy is to provide something for those types of companies from a life cycle management perspective. We fill the gaps particularly on weeds that escape their products.

“So it’s something they can add to their portfolio that is cost effective for them, for the grower and allows us to participate in market and take a market share without threatening the giants in any way.”

Belchim currently has just 12 employees in the U.S., up from seven at the beginning of the year. Some of those are out in the field working in regional sales positions across the country.

Four employees work full-time out of Delaware. Wood, a Chester native, said Belchim could have around a dozen or so employees in Delaware in two years.

“We will bring a unique herbicide to the U.S. market that is not there today,” he said. “So it will be a new innovation that the growers will appreciate. They’re already using it in mint crops as an emergency use approved by the EPA. It just gets the really tough weeds that no one else can get and it works well with every major herbicide out in the market.

“A lot of companies will enter the United States and come in with a, ‘Me, too.’ We will have something new that hasn’t been seen in the United States for years or they’ve never seen before.

“Once people start seeing our portfolio, they invite us back.”

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