Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the partnership between food product manufacturer LiDestri Food and Drink and Crop's N.V. of Belgium in Rochester. With support from the State, the successful companies will form a new company that will manufacture ready-to-eat-meals at a new 65,000 square-foot facility at Eastman Business Park. The partnership will result in the creation of 123 new full-time jobs over the next five years, and 900 jobs will be retained at LiDestri's two Finger Lakes region locations. In addition to the construction of the new facility, the $51.3 million project will also include the addition of manufacturing lines, a rail extension and utility upgrades.
"By investing in innovative projects and partnerships we are growing key industries across the state and creating more jobs for New Yorkers," Governor 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."
"This project will significantly expand LiDestri's manufacturing operations at the growing Eastman Business Park in Rochester," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who announced the project in Rochester as part of the State of the State and budget presentation. "With state support, the new facility will further grow the food and agriculture industry and create new jobs in the region. This investment is one of several by the state and private companies to ensure the Finger Lakes continues to be a leader in the agricultural industry."
Up to $4 million for this project is being made available through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Another $4 million may also be provided through the Excelsior Tax Credit Program in exchange for job creation commitments. The URI capital grant stipulates that $1 million of the total $4 million grant is tied to the region's anti-poverty initiative. The company will need to hire 33 people meeting the eligibility requirements for the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative.
LiDestri Food and Drink manufactures pasta sauces, dips, and salsas. The company also provides private label services for sauces and dips, oils and vinegars, spirits, and organic products. The company was originally formed in 1975 as Cantisano Foods, Inc. The company's name was changed in 2003 when it was purchased by the LiDestri family. The company has two manufacturing facilities in Monroe County (Fairport and Greece-EBP). More information about LiDestri is available here.
Crop's N.V. manufactures and distributes frozen food in Europe. It offers mono fruits, mixed fruits, purees, smoothies, bakery, and fruit buffets; and red, yellow, citrus, exotic, forest, organic fruits, etc. The company also provides mono and steam vegetables, vegetable stir fries, grilled vegetables, and bio products. The company was founded in 1948 and is based in Belgium. The company also has facilities in Costa Rica and Chile. More information about Crop's N.V. is available here.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Eastman Business Park is being re-energized by companies like LiDestri and Crop's N.V., and their exciting partnership is proof that successful companies are realizing the benefits of staying and growing in the Finger Lakes region."
John C. LiDestri, Co-President, LiDestri Food and Drink said, "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."
Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs, Monroe Community College President Anne Kress and Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy said, "The revitalization of Eastman Business Park and assisting established companies like LiDestri and Crop's N.V are top priorities for the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and region's Finger Lakes Forward Initiative. Through these efforts we are putting the region on the right path, providing companies with the confidence and support they need to expand and grow, creating economic opportunities for years to come."
State Senator Joe Robach said, "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. 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."
Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, "I applaud John C. LiDestri and the teams at LiDestri Food and Drink and Crop's N.V. of Belgium for their commitment to our region. Today's announcement by the company and Governor Cuomo shows that the Rochester area has a strong, diverse, and skilled workforce and is in an economic position to create jobs for the future. I look forward to LiDestri's growth and the addition of new jobs at their expanded Rochester campus."
Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, "For decades, LiDestri Foods has been manufacturing quality food products right here in Monroe County that can be found in many of our kitchen cupboards. Monroe County is thrilled to be a supportive partner as Lidestri expands into this new partnership and creates more jobs. I would like to thank LiDestri for their continued commitment to expanding their business here and providing hundreds of jobs for local residents."
Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise said, "LiDestri Foods recognizes the valuable assets available in Rochester, NY to support their rapid business expansion plans, including a skilled workforce and fully integrated food production supply chain. In addition, the affordable utilities and infrastructure available at Eastman Business Park made this the smart choice for their business expansion."
President of Eastman Business Park and Eastman Kodak Company Chief Financial Officer David Bullwinkle said "New occupants at Eastman Business Park continue to contribute to its growth. 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."
This project builds on the continuing success of Eastman Business Park in Rochester. Eastman Business Park, the site where Kodak began manufacturing photographic film and paper more than a century ago, has been repurposed to aid with reinvigorating the region. Today, the campus supports almost 110 companies, employing over 6,000 people. Besides LiDestri Food and Drink, businesses such as ON Semiconductor, AIM Photonics, Kodak, DuPont, SiGNa Chemistry, Harris, Carestream, Columbia Care, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Love Beets, and Acquest Development are located at Eastman Business Park.