Food & Agriculture Related

IN: ConAgra Foods Growing in Jasper County

20 Jan, 2012

ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG), one of North America's leading food companies, announced plans today to expand its Orville Redenbacher's microwave popcorn operations here, creating up to 24 new jobs by 2014. 

The Fortune 500 company plans to invest $15.6 million to upgrade its manufacturing capabilities at its Rensselaer plant. ConAgra Foods plans to remodel its quality assurance laboratory, redesign its corn, slurry and salt systems and add four microwave popcorn packaging lines. 

"As the birthplace of Orville Redenbacher's popcorn, our state's rich heritage coupled with ConAgra Foods' continued commitment to growth in Indiana has put the Hoosier state on the map as the popcorn capital of the world," said Dan Hasler, Secretary of Commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. 

ConAgra Foods, which currently has more than 200 full-time employees in Indiana, has already begun hiring new production line associates. 

"ConAgra Foods and the Rensselaer facility are excited to continue the enduring partnership between Orville Redenbacher popcorn and the state of Indiana," said Ken Dobin, manager of the Rensselaer plant. "Rensselaer's centralized location and quality workforce, along with the state's current business climate and economic development record, provide a fantastic opportunity for ConAgra Foods, the state of Indiana and the Rensselaer community." 

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered ConAgra Foods, Inc. up to $175,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Rensselaer approved additional property tax abatement at the request of the Jasper County Economic Development Organization. 

"ConAgra Foods has been an industry leader in the Rensselaer community for many years and we are very, very proud of their successful record of growth and profitability," said Rensselaer Mayor Herbert Arihood. "In tough economic times, it is pleasing that ConAgra Foods is adding production capacity and employment at their Rensselaer facility and we're honored to support their efforts."  

ConAgra Foods' expansion comes on the heels of the IEDC's recent announcement that it secured job commitments from 219 companies from across the country and around the world in 2011. Non-automotive manufacturing represented the largest sector for new job commitments last year with 5,223 new jobs projected. 

About ConAgra Foods

ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG), is one of North America's leading food companies, with brands in 97 percent of America's households. Consumers find Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Hebrew National, Hunt's, Marie Callender's, Orville Redenbacher's, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip, Slim Jim, Snack Pack and many other ConAgra Foods brands in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise and club stores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong business-to-business presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customersAbout IEDC

Created by Governor Mitch Daniels in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Daniels. Dan Hasler serves as the chief executive officer of the IEDC. 

The IEDC oversees programs enacted by the General Assembly including tax credits, workforce training grants and public infrastructure assistance. All tax credits are performance-based. Therefore, companies must first invest in Indiana through job creation or capital investment before incentives are paid. A company who does not meet its full projections only receives a percentage of the incentives proportional to its actual investment.