Italian olive oil company to open first U.S. facility in Newport News
Certified Origins will invest $25 million and create 30 jobs
Certified Origins, an Italian producer of extra virgin olive oil, will invest $25 million to establish its first U.S. production facility in Newport News, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced in a news release Wednesday.
The move is expected to produce 30 jobs. The company’s operations in the city’s Oakland Industrial Park will import olive oils through the Port of Virginia to offer craft blend and tailored packaging for local and global markets, according to the news release. Virginia competed with Maryland for the project.
“The state of Virginia has an outstanding port, which is a key part of our logistics chain,” Certified Origins Managing Director Nacho Nuez said in a statement. “Having a high-volume, efficient and state-of-the-art port was a key deciding factor for the location. Virginia is centrally located in the mid-Atlantic region, which is a great location to support our customers, and we can easily ship to distribution centers by truck or rail from our manufacturing facility or from the port. The Hampton Roads area has a large pool of skilled workers that we feel would be an ideal fit for our state-of-the-art facility. The area is also very attractive to potential new employees for its reasonable cost of living, activities, and proximity to Washington, D.C., and the Outer Banks.”
The company is among a growing list of those in the food and beverage sector that are investing in Virginia and Hampton Roads, said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick and Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director Stephen A. Edwards.
“We recently expanded our capacity to support growth in this area of business, so the Port of Virginia is well-positioned to help Certified Origins and its peers connect with world markets and grow their business,” Edwards said. “We look forward to the benefits this facility will bring to the city of Newport News and collaborating with Certified Origins as we go forward.”
Founded in 2006, Certified Origins produces and distributes in Europe, Asia, Mexico, and the United States. The company owns the Bellucci Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil brand and has partnerships with American retailers through multiple private label programs.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Newport News and the Port of Virginia to secure the deal and Youngkin approved a $125,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the city with the project. Certified Origins is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, according to the announcement.