Canadian frozen food company to create 67 jobs in Warren County
Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods LLC will spend $40.3M to build a second facility
Montreal-based Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods LLC will spend $40.3 million to expand in Warren County, creating 67 jobs, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.
Harrisonburg-based InterChange Group Inc. will build a 126,000-square-foot facility for Nature’s Touch. The company will import raw materials directly to the new facility for processing and distribution.
In 2014, Nature’s Touch established its Virginia production facility at Stephens Industrial Park in Warren County. The new facility will be across the street and will allow the company to integrate its product handling, making all parts of the process in-house. The company expects to increase the fruit produced annually through the Port of Virginia from 20 million pounds to 45 million pounds.
“Companies choose to invest in Virginia because they can reach customers around the world through the Port of Virginia, including the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal,” Northam said in a statement. “Nature’s Touch’s decision to reinvest is a testament to the strong qualities that make Virginia the country’s top state for business.”
Founded in 2004, Nature’s Touch supplies frozen fruit to retailers in Canada, the U.S., Australia and Japan. It offers private label programs in addition to its own brands and is one of the largest buyers of fruit globally.
“Nature’s Touch is excited to extend and expand its presence in Warren County,” Nature’s Touch Chief Operating Officer Dan Jewell said in a statement. “After extensive evaluation, we determined that Front Royal continues to be the most strategic location for the company’s hub facility for the East Coast United States. This, combined with the opportunity to extend the company’s ongoing strategic partnership with InterChange, made the decision to build the facility in Warren County an easy one for Nature’s Touch.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Warren County and the Port of Virginia to secure the project for Virginia, for which the state competed with Montreal. Northam approved a $400,000 Virginia Investment Performance grant, an incentive for existing companies to continue capital investment. Nature’s Touch is eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program. The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by the VEDP and Virginia Community College System, will provide customizable recruitment and training services at no cost to the company.
“Nature’s Touch has been a cornerstone food company in Warren County for the last decade, and we’re excited to have the company invest in this significant expansion and provide more jobs for our residents,” Front Royal Warren County Economic Development Authority Chair Jeff Browne said in a statement. “This expansion helps solidify Warren County’s reputation as an international manufacturing center in the food industry.”