Food processor Cardinal Foods has announced plans to invest more than $26 million to boost the processing capacity of sweet potatoes and butternut squash in its Burgaw, North Carolina facility.
Cardinal Foods specialises in the processing, marketing and distribution of fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, sweet potatoes and butternut squash across the eastern US.
As a result of the expansion, an additional 56,000 square feet of food grade processing will be added to the company’s existing facility at 201 Progress Drive in Burgaw.
To accommodate the increased capacity, the facility will house raw material receiving equipment. Uncooked materials are steam peeled, diced, sorted and prepared for further processing such as battering and frying. Food such as sweet potato fries will be packaged in a variety of sizes and supplied to retail customers, restaurants and food service operations worldwide.
“This investment will enable Cardinal to be one of the largest sweet potato fry manufacturers in the world,” said Corey Barnhill, Cardinal Foods president and CEO.
“Due to a lack of processing capacity regionally, a large majority of fruits and vegetables travel outside of North Carolina — as far away as Idaho and Canada — to be processed. This expansion represents an enormous competitive advantage that will place Cardinal in a great spot for future growth,” he added.
With its expanded capacity, Cardinal Foods aims to better serve blueberry, sweet potato and butternut squash growers from Florida to New Jersey and particularly benefiting North Carolina. As part of the project, the company plans to create about 50 jobs.
Pender County board of commissioners chairman, George Brown, said: “We welcome Cardinal Foods’ continued investment in Pender County, further capitalising on the opportunities available to our region on the agribusiness import and export side.”
According to a news release from Wilmington Business Development, Cardinal Foods will receive a state and local economic development incentive package to facilitate the investment in Pender County.
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© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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