The following excerpt appeared in “The Infinite Potential of Food and Feedstocks” in the January edition of Global Corporate Xpansion by Editor in Chief Rachel Duran. See the complete article at www.GCXmag.com.
Industrial Parks Figure into Accomplishments
Food processing companies and their suppliers also require acreage to support expansion plans, at favorable rates for real estate development.
Agriculture-related industries are also attracted to a regional technology industrial park opened in the winter of 2012 in Cambridge and Dorchester County, Md. The industrial park features complete infrastructure development, with available lots of 4 acres to 5 acres. The park is located adjacent to the Cambridge-Dorchester Regional Airport, and is one mile from U.S. Route 50.
“I believe the tech park is an opportunity for more food processing and agribusiness companies to locate here to Dorchester County,” says Keasha Haythe, director, Dorchester County Economic Development Department.
Haythe says Dorchester County, located on the eastern shore of Maryland, 75 miles from Baltimore and 80 miles from Washington, D.C., has a history in food processing activities. Its niche is in aquaculture, with companies processing tilapia, shrimp and oysters. “We used to have canneries, including Bumble Bee tuna,” Haythe says. “We continue to be an ideal location for food processing and advanced manufacturing.”
Haythe says the county’s food processing cluster has begun to capitalize on the integration of science, technology and research to create clusters of innovation. For example, Interstate Container LLC has created a biodegradable wax-free food container, particularly well suited for the poultry industry.
A recent food industry expansion announcement in Dorchester County came from Protenergy Natural Foods, a Canadian company, which purchased the 200,000-square-foot building it had been leasing in the county, as well as a 67-acre site. The company expects to invest $20.3 million, and plans to create 100 additional jobs, employing 200 people within the year, Haythe says. The company, a manufacturer of natural food and beverage products, has commissioned two additional production lines to meet demand, supplying to 17 of the largest U.S. grocery retailers.
“Protenergy demonstrates the importance of public and private partnerships to build a strong economy and create private sector jobs,” Haythe says. The company was awarded a state-backed loan guarantee on a $36 million bank loan, and was approved for a $250,000 conditional loan.